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Sustainable Energy

Companies to Watch: Public Companies

Company: General Electric
ge.com
Market cap: $122.73 billion
Installed or Owned Generating Capacity:
Unavailable

Its energy division has businesses in nuclear reactors, fossil fuels, renewables, fuel cells, energy storage, grid systems, and energy-efficient smart appliances. One of the world’s biggest suppliers of wind turbines, the company plans to spend $1.5 billion a year on clean-energy research by 2010.

Company: Xcel Energy
xcelenergy.com
Market cap: $8.53 billion
Installed or Owned Generating Capacity: 16.4 gigawatts

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This Minneapolis-based utility supplies power to eight states in the Midwest and Southwest. Most of the electricity Xcel generates comes from its dozens of coal and natural-gas plants, though customers can pay a premium for electricity from its wind farms. The company is investing in a city-scale smart-grid project in Boulder, CO.

Company: Exelon
exeloncorp.com
Market cap: $33.68 billion
Installed or Owned Generating Capacity: 33 gigawatts

The largest U.S. electric utility, providing 20 percent of America’s nuclear power. Has proposed a 10-megawatt solar array on the South Side of Chicago, to be funded by the loan guarantee program in the federal stimulus package; it would be the nation’s largest urban solar plant.

Company: SunPower
us.sunpowercorp.com
Market cap: $2.02 billion
Installed or Owned Generating Capacity: 400 megawatts

Claims to make the most efficient flat-panel solar technology commercially available, using cells that convert 22 percent of sunlight into electricity. Last year it won a contract to provide panels for what will be the largest photovoltaic installation in the world, a 250-megawatt plant in Northern California that’s set to start generating electricity next year. The recent drop in demand for solar panels has forced the company to scale back its production and delay completion of a new factory in Malaysia.

Company: Ormat Technologies
ormat.com
Market cap: $1.75 billion
Installed or Owned Generating Capacity: 1.2 gigawatts

Has installed more than 10 percent of the world’s geothermal capacity, with plants in the United States, Central America, Africa, and New Zealand.

Company: Abengoa Solar
abengoasolar.com
Market cap: $2.29 billion
Installed or Owned Generating Capacity: 22.6 megawatts

Headquartered in Spain, Abengoa pursues a variety of solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies. The company has signed an agreement with an Arizona utility to build a 280-megawatt plant near Phoenix. One version of its solar thermal technology uses mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy onto a central receiving tower. Abengoa also has over 11 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity in operation.

Company: Vestas
vestas.com
Market cap: $14.9 billion
Installed or Owned Generating Capacity: 33 gigawatts

The world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines, Vestas currently controls 20 percent of the global market.


Company:
First Solar
firstsolar.com
Market cap: $12.39 billion
Installed or Owned Generating Capacity: 1 gigawatt

Recently pushed the manufacturing costs of its cadmium telluride thin-film solar panels below $1 per watt. Has delivered more than a gigawatt of solar generation capacity to date. Although the vast majority of First Solar’s customers are in Europe, last year the company completed a 10-megawatt plant in Nevada. It’s currently the largest thin-film installation in the country, and First Solar recently signed an agreement to expand it to 58 megawatts if the operating utility can find a buyer for the electricity.

Company: BP Solar
bp.com
Market cap: $160.91 billion
Installed or Owned Generating Capacity: 1 gigawatt

Has been manufacturing silicon solar cells and panels for longer than three decades. In the face of the economic downturn and increasing competition from competitors, the company recently closed down photovoltaic manufacturing facilities in Spain and Australia, and it’s phasing out panel assembly at its plant in Frederick, MD.

Company: Duke Energy
duke-energy.com
Market cap: $18.87 billion
Installed or Owned Generating Capacity: 35 gigawatts

Generates most of its electricity from coal, natural gas, and oil. In 2007, the company received permission from Indiana regulators to build the world’s first large-scale Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle plant, which converts coal into a cleaner burning gas. Also operates a large fleet of nuclear reactors in the Carolinas and has submitted an application for a license to build a new two-reactor facility in South Carolina.

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