One problem with solar power farms are the massive expanse of land they require. That’s why a crop of companies developing “concentrator” technologies are getting financial backing lately.
These companies use mirrors and other techniques to concentrate the sun on solar cells, which boosts the conversion to electricity.
The latest is GreenVolts, a San Francisco company that says it can concentrate “625 suns of energy onto a highly efficient solar cell,” and which helps it avoid using large tracts of land. The company has just raised $10 million in a first round of venture financing. We’ve covered the company twice before (see here and here), when it raised about $1.5 million in seed funding.
Other solar concentration companies include Silicon Valley Solar (see coverage), which also raised $10 million in June, and SolFocus (see coverage), a company that created a significant bidding war among investors last year, and has already raised a significant $84 million. Solaria of Fremont, Calif., a third player, recently raised $50 million in a third round of funding from Germany’s solar cell company Q-Cells.
We’ve reported Greenvolt’s plans to build a 2-megawatt solar electricity plant for PG&E outside of Tracy, Calif. The company said the plant is on track for opening late next year.
The funding was led by Greenlight Energy Resources, an operator of renewable energy projects. It included Avista Corporation and other unnamed investors.