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Mars Rover enjoys its day in the sun

After spending more than seven years constantly on the move in hazardous, previously uncharted territory, the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity—a geologic robot— is taking some time to kick back and bask in the sun.

Conergy to power agricultural water pumps

Bear Creek Ranch in Wasco, California has chosen Conergy’s Solar Large Projects Group as the project manager for its power generation site. The site will power water pumps and irrigation systems for the surrounding almond orchards.

No sign of "Solyndra effect"

While some sections of the photovoltaic industry continue to bend under the weight of weak demand and oversupply, the latest figures show venture capital investment at new highs.

AU Optronics begins trial process

Taiwanese company AU Optronics Corporation begins its trial in the case brought against it, its subsidiary AUO America and five of its current and former executives by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Hamburg investment company CEE acquires two more solar parks

CEE (Conetwork Erneuerbare Energien Holding GmbH & Co. KGaA) will be acquiring two new PV ground-mounted systems to add to its expanding solar portfolio. The total capacity that CEE owns will then increase to more than 70 MW (megawatts).

Germany: High of 3,000 MW in December alone

The annexing of PV systems in 2011 has been concluded to have been even higher than in record year 2010, says the German Federal Network Agency. In 2011, approximately 7,500 MW of PV installations were installed.

Small European markets on the rise

The European markets remain important for solar despite the financial uncertainty. Lux Research’s Solar Demand Forecaster, a customizable platform for tracking IRR (internal rates of returns) and projecting future growth through 2016, has identified the top five locations by IRR for the first quarter of this year.

India: Solar developers in Gujarat get extension

Solar developers in Gujarat with projects under construction have been given a month’s extension to complete their plants without losing their preferential payment rates. The deadline has been extended to January 28, 2012.

Centrosolar to take over part of insolvent Gecko Group

Munich-based Centrosolar AG will expand its field of activities with this takeover. The purchase is still subject to approval by the German Federal Cartel Office.

Satcon ‘break-even plan’ presages layoffs and restructuring

Satcon Technology Corporation (SATC) have announced that it will reduce its global workforce by 140 employees, close its Canadian plant, and slash other costs in an effort to offset revenue losses and break even by mid-year 2012. The move follows 85 layoffs made last July, as the Boston-based firm’s financial results began to flatten.

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