I've posted this on other boards, and the story is a few years old, but I recently saw some other news about this project, so it's still going strong. Energy Independence in 92 Square Miles Give Ausra CEO Bob Fishman a 92-by-92-mile expanse of desert land -- an area less than one-tenth the size of Nevada -- and he could power the entire United States. Fishman doesnt control that much land, of course, and transporting electricity all over the country would get tricky. But that doesnt make the power of Ausras solar technology any less mind-boggling. While most older solar setups depend on pricey photovoltaic panels, Ausras installations boast mass-produced mirror clusters that focus the suns rays onto water-filled tubes. When the water begins to boil, it produces enough steam to turn an array of turbines. Fishman estimates electricity generated this way will cost 10 to 12 cents per kilowatt-hour -- on par with power from polluting sources such as coal, and 50% less than photovoltaic power. Photovoltaic is constrained because it uses high-grade silicon, he says. Were using everyday materials -- just steel, glass, and water. VC extraordinaire Vinod Khosla invested $25 million in Ausra last year, and Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield, & Byers kicked in another $15 million, a colossal vote of confidence that has proven contagious. In November 2007, Pacific Gas & Electric signed a 20-year power purchasing agreement with the company that will generate more than $1 billion in revenue (Ausras first California plant is slated to be up and running by 2010), and Ausra officials are in talks with utilities in Florida and Nevada to cement similar deals. I dont think its out of the question for us to get 30% of the national grid within 20 years, Fishman says.