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&lt&lt A Congress:Top 100 Technologies -- RD Energy Technology &gt&gt

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Utility-Scale Solar Power

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eSolar thermal power systems use reflected sunlight via small heliostats as a heat-source to drive electric generators.

Using small heliostat size and the advantage of mass production, eSolar systems were designed to minimize cost, realizing economy-of-scale at 33 MW, becoming cost competitive with fossil-fuel-powered plants. Projects range from 25 MW to over 500 MW.

eSolar is slated to have its first fully operational power plant later in 2008 in southern California.


Official Website

eSolar Solution


Company Overview (pdf)

The Market

About Us

How it Works

Image:ESolar array concept 500.jpg

Rather than using large reflective surfaces, the eSolar array uses smaller reflective surfaces, reducing the installation costs, control costs. The smaller size also means increased construction speeds. Also the decreased wind profile means increased up-time. Each array, or module, is 25 MW which can be multipled for larger plant needs.


Smaller heliostat size

increases economy of scale.

fit efficiently into shipping containers

pre-assembled in factory to reduce on-site labor

complete replacement units can be stocked on site and installed quickly at low cost.

Fast Installation - eSolar has designed a solar field layout that minimizes installation time and cost. By employing a repeating frame structure and a revolutionary calibration system, eSolar has eliminated the need for high-precision surveying, delicate installation, and individual alignment of mirrors. Minimal skilled labor is needed to build the solar field, allowing for mirror deployment efficiencies that scale with project size and deadlines.


list here


Company: eSolar


eSolar is an Idealab company founded by CEO Asif Ansari in 2007 to develop, construct

and deploy modular, scalable solar thermal power plants. eSolar’s approach marries a

low-impact, pre-fabricated form factor with advanced optics and computer software

engineering to meet the demands of utilities of any size for clean, renewable and costcompetitive

solar energy. By focusing on the key business obstacles that have

characterized large solar installations from its inception – price, scalability, speed of

deployment and grid impact – eSolar has developed a proprietary solution to make a

dramatic reduction in the cost of solar thermal technology. eSolar is based in Pasadena,

California and has 70 employees.

“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



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Template: 43 > Congress:T100:Related Lists > Technology Review's 50 Most Innovative Companies - Ranked according to both invention superiority as well as business models. Energy winners included publicly traded companies: Directory:A123 Systems, American Superconductor, Directory:First Solar, GE, Nissan, Suntech and private companies: Directory:1366 Technologies, Amyris, Directory:Coskata Inc, Directory:eSolar, Joule Biotechnologies, Synthetic Genomics, Directory:Tesla Motors, Inc.. (MIT Technology Review Feb. 23, 2010)
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ESolar expects to start up its large solar thermal plant soon - Patterned after the software startup model--selling a sophisticated computer program that drives cheap, commodity hardware, eSolar and its power plant operating partner, NRG Energy, have announced agreements with three electric utilities to install 500 megawatts of thermal solar capacity over the next few years. (MIT Technology Review July 07, 2009)

Hot kilowatts: Infinia, Stirling Energy Systems, eSolar get money - Directory:Stirling Energy Systems announced a $100 million investment. Directory:InfiniaCorp said it has taken an additional $7 million, part of a total of $57 million in a Series B round. eSolar said it has raised $130 million from Idealab and (CNET Apr. 22, 2008)

eSolar Backing Shows Sector's Health (subscription required) (Wall Street Journal April 21, 2008)

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eSolar: Utility-Scale Solar Power - eSolar heliostats were designed to minimize cost, realizing economy-of-scale benefits at much smaller power plant sizes than traditional solar thermal plants. Mass manufacturing means eSolar power plants are cost competitive with fossil fuels.

Renewables Cheaper than Coal - Google announced a new initiative, known as RE