Big Solar Project Advances, Perminova Raises $7M, Qualcomm Buys Charging Technology, & More San Diego BizTech News

11/14/11Follow @bvbigelow

A 48-percent uptick in new company formations, a funding deal, and two acquisitions made for an encouraging week in San Diego’s innovation economy. This is our roundup of tech sector news.

—The California Public Utilities Commission approved five power purchase agreements that Soitec, the photovoltaic chip maker based Bernin, France, negotiated with San Diego Gas and Electric. The five deals represent a total capacity of 155 megawatts of new solar power for San Diego, according to Soitec. As we explained in April, Soitec says its innovation, which combines concentrating Fresnel lenses and high-performance PV chips, operates twice as efficiently as conventional solar cells. Soitec plans to manufacture its solar modules in the San Diego area, creating about 450 new jobs. Building the solar facility will cost an estimated $500 million.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) acquired HaloIPT, a UK-based startup developing wireless charging technology for electric vehicles. Financial terms were not disclosed. The technology uses inductive power transfer to charge an electric vehicle (EV). The car parks over an electromagnet, which generates an electric field that transfers energy to the EV power system. A couple days after announcing the deal, Qualcomm said it’s planning to carry out a field trial in London that calls for establishing the wireless EV charging systems for 50 vehicles.

Cubic (NYSE: CUB), the San Diego defense contractor, conducted a series of local exercises to demonstrate new “combat ID” technology, which is intended to reduce friendly fire casualties among U.S. troops in combat. The technology integrates laser targeting with radio frequency identification tags (RFIDs) and a GPS-based system in a rifle-mounted targeting scope, according to Cubic. The RFID tag, mounted on each soldier’s helmet, transits a coded radio signal that enables users to distinguish between friend and foe combatants.

—The San Diego-based Active Network (NYSE: ACTV) paid $21.5 million to acquire RTP (also known as Resort Technology Partners), a specialized IT company in Colorado that provides online reservation and registration services for Vail and other ski resorts. The Active Network already provides Web-based registration services for … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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