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Fusion Garage Grid tablet selling for $299

Fusion Garage's new Grid 10 tablet is selling for a healthy $200 below its originally announced price.

Available for sale in the United States and scheduled to start shipping this past Monday, the Grid 10 is being served up in two versions--a 16GB Wi-Fi-only version for $299 and a 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G edition for $399. Those numbers compare with the previously announced prices of $499 and $599, respectively. Shipping is free.

A spokewoman for Fusion Garage told CNET that the company was able to lower the price after negotiating its supply chain costs with a manufacturing partner. Customers who … Read more

Nontoxic energy storage snags $30 million in funding

Aquion Energy, a developer of nontoxic batteries, announced today it has raised $30 million in venture capital funding.

Investors in this round of funding include Foundation Capital, TriplePoint Capital, Advanced Technology Ventures, and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers.

The company previously was operating on venture funding from Kleiner, as well as a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Pittsburgh, Penn. start-up, which grew from a Carnegie Mellon University research project, has been developing grid-scale energy storage without the use of "hazardous materials, corrosive acids, or noxious fumes," according to Aquion.

Specifically, Aquion Energy has developed … Read more

High-tech ghost town planned for New Mexico

Families and retirees come to New Mexico to chill in the sun; aliens come to crash-land their ships; scientologists come to build secret compounds and prepare to visit the aliens; the government comes to hide the crashed alien ships and blow stuff up; and studios come to make movies about all of the above. Now, a private company is coming to build a 20-square-mile ghost town of the future.

D.C.-based Pegasus Global Holdings is planning to build the model city to test new and up-and-coming technologies such as smart grids, renewable energy, intelligent traffic systems and next generation Wi-Fi. The company says the huge facility, dubbed "The Center," would likely be located somewhere near the Albuquerque or Las Cruces metro areas, giving the company access to multiple Interstate corridors, nearby national labs, universities, and military installations.… Read more

Can PostgreSQL pickup where MySQL left off?

EnterpriseDB, a provider of enterprise-class products and services based on PostgreSQL, today announced Postgres Plus Cloud Server, which the company has billed as "a full-featured, Oracle-compatible, enterprise-class PostgreSQL database-as-a-service for public and private clouds with support for Amazon EC2, Eucalyptus, Rackspace, and GoGrid."

We've seen other database-as-a-service offerings come on the scene from the likes of Salesforce.com's Database.com, Amazon RDS, as well as from startup Xeround. But they're not based on PostgreSQL, which has had years of hardening and development by a committed community. The other databases are not "Oracle compatible," … Read more

Fusion Garage Grid 10 tablet, hands-on

Just when I thought the tablet market was settling into a Honeycomb malaise, a rogue tablet has jumped into the mix. The Grid 10 from Fusion Garage (yes, that Fusion Garage) was unveiled today as a 10-inch tablet alternative to Apple's and Google's offerings, due to ship on September 15.

Sure, at $499 for a 16GB model the pricing suffers from the same delusions that afflicted HP's TouchPad and RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook, but at least Fusion Garage is in good company. Like HP and RIM, Fusion Garage is banking on a post-iOS, post-Android gag reflex to drive consumers into its arms. … Read more

Nissan Leaf batteries to power homes

Rather than cranking up a generator during a blackout, Nissan Leaf drivers may be able to tap into the electric car's batteries.

Nissan earlier this week unveiled its Nissan Leaf to Home system, which it plans to commercialize in Japan within a year.

The system uses the Leaf charging station to draw from the car's lithium ion batteries and feed current into a home's electricity distribution panel. The 24 kilowatt-hours of energy storage in the Leaf is enough to power an average Japanese home, which uses about half the energy of an average U.S. household, for … Read more

BrightSource adds salt for solar power at night

BrightSource Energy today announced molten salt energy storage for its heat-driven solar power plants, touting the advantages over flat solar photovoltaic panels.

With the storage, BrightSource solar power plants can deliver electricity to the grid consistently and into the evening hours. That makes the solar power more valuable because utilities pay more for power during peak hours, which continues past nightfall.

BrightSource's solar tower technology generates steam from a field of mirrors called heliostats shining onto a tower. The steam is fed into a conventional turbine to generate electricity. After turning the turbine, the steam is condensed into water … Read more

IEE: Smart grids depend on consumers for success

Utilities stand to save money in operational costs after an initial large investment in smart-grid infrastructure, but the rest of the savings will depend on consumers.

That's according to a 38-page white paper (PDF) released this month by the Institute for Electric Efficiency.

The IEE group did a cost-benefit analysis using real-world numbers for things like equipment costs, energy prices, and usage statistics to estimate the costs and benefits to four different types of prototypical utilities managing a service territory of one million residential electricity consumers.

Implementing smart grids, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), and associated energy management technologies would … Read more

How smart grid fought off U.S. heat wave

The U.S. electricity grid powered through a record-setting heat wave last week with an assist from demand response, an efficiency technique poised for broader use.

The heat wave pummeled large parts of the Eastern and Southern U.S. last week, causing a spike in peak-time demand from added air conditioning loads. Three grid operators, or regional transmission organizations (RTOs), set new records for the highest peak demand load, with the New York grid only slighting missing its peak.

Grid operators met soaring demand by ordering power from addition generators, called "peaker plants," which only operate a few … Read more

A123 scores battery deal for wind power in China

Lithium ion battery maker A123 Systems today said it will supply an energy storage system attached to a wind turbine in a test that could lead to further grid business in China.

Power equipment manufacturer Dongfang Electric will install a 500-kilowatt battery bank attached to a 1.5-megawatt wind turbine and diesel generator to evaluate how well the batteries can smooth out dips in power production from wind. The system, which can store 125 kilowatt-hours, is scheduled to be installed by the end of the year.

Wind power has boomed in China over the past few years, driven by government … Read more