Global environmental challenges
Energy storage isn’t as sexy as solar projects that offer opportunities to cut ribbons on shiny futuristic technology. Nor does it attract the billions in federal loan guarantees and incentives awarded to wind farms and photovoltaic power plants.
But utilities and the government are increasingly recognizing that energy storage systems are crucial to integrating intermittent renewable energy projects into the smart grid.
Hence the United States Department of Energy’s finalization last week of a $17.1 million grant to utility AES to build a 20 megawatt lithium ion battery storage system using A123 Systems’ technology.
The battery packs will be installed at an AES facility in Johnson City, N.Y., and used to smooth out fluctuations in the power grid. Rather than burn fossil fuels to balance supply and demand, renewable energy from wind, solar or other renewable sources can be stored in the battery systems and released when needed.
Many have asked — and invested according to their answer — whether that fuel will come from batteries, utility grids, curb-side charging stations or some other technology.
High-powered electric-car startup Tesla Motors has hit a speed bump with the filing of a lawsuit by former CEO and founder Martin Eberhard.
The libel suit, filed on May 26 in San Mateo County, Calif. Superior Court, alleges current CEO Elon Musk falsely portrayed himself as the founder of the company and orchestrated Eberhard's ouster as original CEO in 2007. In the lengthy 22-page document, Eberhard accuses Musk and Tesla of, among other things, libel, slander, breach of contract, negligence and failure to pay wages. The suit doesn't even refer to Musk as a co-founder, but simply as one of "various investors," who joined the Tesla board in April 2004.
With highly touted plans for a new electric car in jeopardy, an overseas investor steps in to provide new capital and a much-needed endorsement.
GM? No, Tesla.
Remarkably, the terms of German automaker Daimler AG's 10-percent stake in Tesla may have also helped the Silicon Valley electric-car start-up inch closer to GM in value.
Tesla Motors unveiled the Model S, its newest all-electric car, at a media event outside Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon. Billed as the first mass market highway-ready electric vehicle, the Model S can seat five adults and two children and can go for up to 300 miles on one charge. And, it costs a lot less than Tesla’s Roadster sports car, starting just shy of $50,000 (including a government tax credit). Check out our full story about the Model S unveiling here.
At the event, executives drove the prototype vehicle around the parking lot and into the surrounding neighborhood to show it off. We shot video of some of that, and here it is (forgive us for the guy walking into our shot!). Let us know what you think. Would you buy this car?