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Report: eSolar gets $130 million

Funding for the solar power start-up comes, in part, from Google, which said last year that it would begin investing in clean-tech companies.

Solar power start-up eSolar has raised $130 million in funding, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).

The Journal says one of eSolar's investors is Google, which announced last November that it would begin investing in alternative energy companies in an effort called RE

Pasadena, Calif.-based eSolar has plans to build large solar-thermal plants using the heliostat design, which utilizes an array of flat mirrors that direct sunlight onto a water tower, turning the water inside to steam, which then turns a turbine to make electricity.

Now, the company says, it has come up with a modular design that also enables it to build mini power plants. Such plants are faster to install, smaller, and less expensive to construct than most solar power plants, the company says. eSolar adds that its modular technique can scale, creating power plants that produce anywhere from 25 megawatts of electricity to more than 500 megawatts.