Here are the top stories in cleantech we’re following on the GreenBeat today:

Solar panel maker Suntech is buying more wafer-slicing capacity in China for $127 million, the Associated Press reports.

Federal regulators have proposed easing grid restrictions on renewable energies that will allow solar and wind producers to deliver energy faster and lower rates for consumers purchasing that electricity, Reuters reports.

More and more utility-scale solar projects are coming online, Greentech Media writes, noting Southern California Edison’s recent deals for 259 megawatts of power. Concentrated solar systems maker Amonix could benefit from the overall surge.

Biofuels startup Proterro says it has engineered a microbe that can continuously churn out sugar, Earth2Tech reports. If the company can scale its technology, it could become a provider of cheap sugar, which ethanol makers could then easily convert to ethanol, thus forgoing the time, disadvantage, and expense of buying and processing feedstock like corn.

Infigen Energy is in talks to invest in wind projects in Australia worth about $492 million, Bloomberg writes.

Mitsubishi unveiled its all-electric miEV car that it will launch next year in the U.S., Greentech Media reports, and it’s priced $3,000 below the all-electric Nissan Leaf, which will begin to be delivered to buyers next month.

Audi plans to eventually come out with an entire line of plug-ins and hybrids, marketed under the E-Tron name. The company will start by releasing the all-electric E-Tron sports car at the end of 2012, Greentech Media reports.

Celanese plans to invest $700 million in two coal-to-ethanol factories in China that will be able to produce about 400,000 tons of biofuel a year. The company says its process is cheaper than using corn, prompting Forbes to call the company ” a name you need to know in 2011.”

[Image via Flickr/vax-o-matic]