Cool Earth Solar has just received $21 million in funding from private investors to develop their solar concentrator balloons. The Livermore, California company will be manufacturing these metalized plastic balloons, which will concentrate the sun’s energy upon photovoltaic cells in order to generate electricity.
Since the solar balloons are made of plastic, the manufacturing costs are cheap, bringing the total cost of electrical generation to a point that is lower than that of natural gas power plants.
The Cool Earth Solar balloons can withstand a 125 mph wind, are water-cooled and can be scaled up globally. The high-tech balloon firm is now negotiating to sell electricity to utility companies from their solar balloon farms. The company has no plans to sell their solar balloons, however, to residents as they are utility-scale systems only.My note: One added benefit is that these monsters make windfarms seem much more aesthetically appealing! Maybe this'll shut up all those anti-wind fanatics. I think Cape Cod would be an excellent test site.
Seriously though, there are vast areas of California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas, not to mention Mexico, where thousands of these big guys could be set up very discreetly.