Today, eSolar(TM), a producer of scalable solar thermal power plants, announced that it has closed $130 million in funding from Idealab, Google.org, Oak Investment Partners, and other investors for the construction and deployment of pre-fabricated power plants. Designed to address the complex issues surrounding large or utility-scale power projects, eSolar's distributed solar thermal plants achieve economies of scale at 33 MW, and are modularly scaled to fit the needs of large and small utilities.
“The eSolar™ power plant is based on mass manufactured components, and designed for rapid construction, uniform modularity, and unlimited scalability,” said Asif Ansari, CEO of eSolar. “Rather than over-engineering the solution, eSolar’s smart scalable solar architecture targets what we see as the four key business obstacles facing the sector: price, scalability, rapid deployment, and grid impact.”
In order to deliver on the promise of Big Solar, the typical utility-scale installation faces huge construction costs and requires large tracts of real estate, combined with expensive transmission line improvements to bring the power out of the deserts and into the cities. eSolar’s modular approach stands in direct contrast to this ‘bigger is better’ strategy. eSolar has replaced expensive steel, concrete, and brute force with inexpensive computing power and elegant algorithms. This new method of installing a solar power plant minimizes costly civil construction and the use of heavy equipment, dramatically reducing project cost and deployment time.
Centering on eSolar’s 33 MW pre-fab form-factor, the company’s modular design translates to minimal land requirements. The company’s solar power plant solutions are tailored to fit local resources and produce a low environmental footprint, favoring a straightforward siting and permitting process. Myriad locations combined with a multitude of interconnection options mean that eSolar can deliver more clean, carbon free power where it is needed: near the cities and towns where it is consumed.
“eSolar’s primary business goal is nothing short of making solar electricity for less than the price of coal, without subsidies,” said Bill Gross, eSolar Chairman and Founder of Idealab. “This is not only attainable, but will truly change the world.”
Bandel Carano, Managing Partner of Oak Investment Partners, added, “eSolar is the only cost effective solution that can deliver gigawatts of solar energy generation at market prices today, because they have developed a truly disruptive scalable solution that can be deployed rapidly.”
eSolar has secured land rights in the southwest United States to support the production and transmission of over 1 GW of power. eSolar will have a fully operational power plant later this year in southern California.