“The $100 billion solar power industry is gaining a lot of attention both globally and domestically, attracting high-profile investment from Wall Street giants such as Apple, Google and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway,” Jackie DeAngelis reports for CNBC. “One of the most desirable locations for building domestic solar facilities is in the Mojave Desert—25,000 square miles of sun-baked terrain spanning southeastern California, plus portions of Nevada, Arizona and Utah. It’s no surprise that some of the world’s most sophisticated solar plants are popping up there, showcasing the latest developments in the industry.”

“One notable, completed project is called Ivanpah, a partnership between NRG and BrightSource, which broke ground about three years ago. The $2.2 billion project was able to get up and running thanks in part to $1.6 billion in government loans, plus Google’s 20 percent investment,” DeAngelis reports. “Another set of photovoltaic facilities making headlines are the Solar Star Projects developed by SunPower and acquired by MidAmerican Solar for roughly $2 billion. Berkshire Hathaway’s energy unit owns MidAmerican Solar’s parent, MidAmerican Renewables, which is working on a basket of different solar projects.”

“However, there are some challenges within the industry, infrastructure is one. ‘The great concern is that the generation that is being built can’t get to the markets where it is needed or demanded by the renewable portfolio standards, so there is a problem getting the transmission built associated with solar to get it to those marketplaces,’ said Jason Hutt, Partner at Bracewell Giuliani,” DeAngelis reports. “Hutt also points out that it will take a significant amount of time before the use of solar power is common enough to make a pervasive impact. ‘I’m not aware of an estimate of when solar takes over as an industry, but I think it’s fair to say we’re a long way away,’ Hutt said. ‘If Congress and the Administration want to see the type of build they’ve seen in solar so far, they’re going to have to continue to subsidize that because the technology just isn’t yet in a place where it can compete without it.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

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