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Model rendering of ISEGS, the world's largest solar power tower being built in California

Google has chipped in a US$168 million investment in what will be the world's largest solar power tower plant. To be located on 3,600 acres of land in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) will boast 173,000 heliostats that will concentrate the sun's rays onto a solar tower standing approximately 450 feet (137 m) tall. The plant commenced construction in October 2010 and is expected to generate 392 MW of solar energy following its projected completion in 2013.  Read More

Molten salt technology was demonstrated at the Solar Two project

One of the biggest problems with solar energy is that the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day. This means that unless users are only planning on using electricity when the sun is shining, some form of energy storage system is required. Since storing excess electricity in rechargeable batteries isn’t really practical for large-scale solar power plants, another storage system is needed. U.S. utility-scale solar project developer SolarReserve has now received approval for the first solar power plant in California that uses molten salt technology to store the sun’s thermal energy as heat so it can generate electricity when needed, at any time of the day or night.  Read More

Olivier Chalouhi in his new Nissan LEAF

San Francisco Bay Area resident Olivier Chalouhi has become the first person in the world to take delivery of a Nissan LEAF all-electric vehicle. At a special presentation on Saturday at North Bay Nissan of Petaluma in California, Chalouhi, a 31-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur who was the first person in the U.S. to place a LEAF order, took possession of a black LEAF SL in what Nissan described as an historic event representing “the first delivery of an affordable, mass-market, all-electric car since the first days of the automotive era.”  Read More

The mushroom-shaped solar evaporators of the winning Project Umbrella entry

Mushroom-shaped solar evaporators have taken out first place in a competition asking architects, landscape architects, designers, engineers, urban planners, students and environmental professionals to create an innovative urban vision for a several-mile-long development zone on the eastern edge of downtown LA. The Project Umbrella submission features a series of umbrella-like structures designed to clarify black water from city sewage which would then be used to encourage the growth of surrounding trees and plants.  Read More

Ferrari HELE system adds a tinge of “green” to Ferrari red

There’s been a number of battery electric and hybrid supercar concepts on the stands at this year’s Paris Motor Show, and with the impressive performance stats of vehicles such as the Jaguar C-X75, the Lotus Elite GT and the Exagon Furtive eGT, automakers are closing the gap between the performance of electric vehicles and those powered by internal combustion engines (ICE). However, there’s still some way to go before electric vehicles can match it with conventional supercars, but even companies like Ferrari can’t ignore the change in attitudes. In an effort to add a tinge of green to its iconic red, the company showed a Ferrari California in Paris that is fitted with a new HELE (High Emotion Low Emissions) system designed to reduce the environmental impact of its supercars, while boosting their performance.  Read More

The EcoRide BE-35 all-electric bus

Even in the form of diesel-powered buses, mass transit is a much more environmentally friendly way to get people around than individual cars. All- electric buses, however, take the eco-credentials of mass transit to the next level and from next week, commuters in the San Gabriel/Pamona area of Los Angeles County can do their bit for the environment by traveling on three Proterra EcoRide BE35 all-electric buses purchased by Foothill Transit.  Read More

California drivers could soon have another distraction to deal with in the form of digital...

California is a state crippled by debt. The situation is so desperate that it looks like California lawmakers are now considering a license plate led recovery. A bill proposed by Senator Curren D. Price Jr, D-Inglewood, gives the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the authority to investigate the emerging Digital Electronic License Plate (DELP) technology that would enable rear license plates on vehicles to become message boards to display advertising or other images when the vehicle is stationary for periods longer than four seconds, such as at a stop light or in a traffic jam.  Read More

The most successful automotive collector auction in history

RM Auctions’ inaugural Sporting Classics of Monaco event held on Saturday leaves little doubt that fine automobiles can be a rapidly appreciating investment. The average price achieved by the 88 cars which crossed the block was in excess of US$500,000 while the highest price fetched was EUR2,800,000 (US$3,799,600) for a 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Cabriolet Pininfarina SWB (pictured top right). Some remarkable cars were sold on the day, including (pictured clockwise from bottom right) one of the world’s most significant pre-war sports racing cars, the 1937 BMW 328 MM ‘Buegelfalte’ (undisclosed but believed to be in excess of US$6 million), a handmade Rolls Royce which was the most expensive car made in the world in 1933 (US$1,975,792) and a Maserati Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’ (US$3,343,648). Full details, images and story inside.  Read More

Nissan North America, announces the first commercial lease of its zero emissions X-TRAIL F...

Following on from the successful use of its Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs) in demonstration fleets in Japan and California, Nissan has announced its first commercial FCV lease in North America to Sacramento Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Inc. In an advantageous brand tie-in the zero emissions X-TRAIL FCV will be used by the bottler for sales calls and public events in the Sacramento area in promotion of its Coca-Cola Zero soft drink.  Read More

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger introducing the hydrogen-powered Tyrano zero emi...

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has introduced Vision Industries’ Tyrano semi truck – a hydrogen-powered zero emissions vehicle designed to replace diesel and LNG short haul trucks in California. Vision says the Tyrano is the world’s first “green” heavy duty class 8 truck with zero emissions (zero CO2, zero fossil fuels, zero noise pollution and a zero carbon footprint). What’s more, the company claims the Tyrano is twice as powerful as a conventional diesel-powered vehicle.  Read More

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