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GE Buying ESolar Stake to Offer Gas-Solar Hybrid Power Plants

General Electric Co., the largest supplier of wind turbines in the U.S., plans to purchase a minority stake in closely held eSolar in a bid to develop power plants that can use both solar thermal energy and natural gas.

The investment gives GE an exclusive license to sell eSolar’s solar thermal technology, which it plans to combine with its energy-efficient gas turbines, Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE said today in a statement.

Combining the two technologies in a hybrid plant will increase efficiency of the gas turbines to 70 percent from 61 percent, lowering fuel costs and emissions, GE said. ESolar is based in Burbank, California. The companies did not say how large a stake in eSolar GE will buy or how much it agreed to pay.

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