Companies have come to realize that they can avoid most of the bureaucratic snags involved in building plants that produce over 50 megawatts. Furthermore, by grouping their panels into small lots, they’ve been able to grab small tracts of land on the edges of cities and towns, or on land that can be dual-purposed like farms. A secondary advantage is the ability to hook into the existing power grid without the modifications required to channel power from a large plant.
The idea is to build 10 acre lots on the outskirts of small cities that could feed into the municipal power grid directly. Each lot, consisting of several rows of solar panels mounted on rails above ground, could provide up to 2 megawatts, enough to serve 1,000 homes. The panels would be mounted on rails to prevent them from affecting the surrounding wildlife and vegetation. Nanosolar has gotten plenty of attention for its claim that it can sell its cells for as low as 99 cents per watt, low enough to be competitive with non-renewable energy sources, as well as recently raising over $50 million more from EDF Energies Nouvelles.
Coolearth Solars target is 29 cents per watt INSTALLED by 2010. 18 cents per watt for materials. 18 cents / Wattp (Watt panel)
CoolEarth Solar’s plans
FY07+ – 10-50 kW installations
FY08+: 50 kW – 1 MW installations
FY10+: 1-10 MW Micro-utility franchises
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.