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Energy Highlights

A publicly funded company plans to go public, and BMW releases an electric car.
April 25, 2011

BrightSource files for an IPO

A solar company that’s building a massive plant in the desert using Federal funds has filed to go public. The documents provide an interesting glimpse at the challenge solar thermal power faces. From Earth2Tech,

Washing the Mirrors: Building solar thermal plants in the desert has at least one major drawback: The mirrors get dirty. BrightSource says each mirror needs to be cleaned every two weeks to get rid of dust and maintain solar performance. The mirrors will be washed at night using a dedicated crew using specialized mobile equipment. But BrightSource says: “If the mirror washing equipment and process are not effective, actual operating costs may be substantially higher than forecasted or total electrical production may fall short of estimates.”

BMW goes Electric, sort of

BMW Group has already experimented with an electric version of its Mini Cooper. Now the BMW brand will lease 1,100 of a car it’s calling the ActiveE. It’s supposed to get 100-miles per charge, regardless of weather (the supposed 100-mile range of the Nissan Leaf can be almost halved by a very cold day.) BMW won’t come out with a real mass produced electric car until 2013. The company’s CEO doesn’t seem optimistic about the chances of its electric cars. The Detroit News quotes him as saying that electric cars, which have limited range, “won’t work for most people.” He’s betting diesel technology will do better.

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