Valley clean energy innovation can prosper, it just takes awhile

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Two Silicon Valley-backed Bay Area companies appear to be the tech vendors behind Apple’s (s AAPL) new sizable and pioneering clean power push at its massive data center in North Carolina. Last week it was revealed that solar panel maker SunPower(s SPWRA) will provide Apple with panels for a 20MW solar farm, while I reported earlier this month that fuel cell maker Bloom Energy looks to be the vendor behind Apple’s 5MW fuel cell farm. The significance of Apple opting to partner with two Valley-born clean power firms illustrates that the greentech venture ecosystem can work — it just takes quite a long time.

San Jose, Calif.-based solar panel maker SunPower was founded way back in the mid-80s by Stanford electrical engineering professor Richard Swanson and received early funding from the Department of Energy, the Electric Power Research Institute, two venture capital firms and chip firm Cypress Semiconductor. The company…

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