Now get this, skeptics: there are already several corporate customers using refrigerator-sized Bloom Boxes. The corporate-sized cells cost $700,000 to $800,000 and are installed at 20 customers you’ve already heard of including FedEx and Wal-mart — Google was first to this green energy party, using its Bloom Boxes to power a data center for the last 18 months. Ebay has installed its boxes on the front lawn of its San Jose location. It estimates to receive almost 15% of its energy needs from Bloom, saving about $100,000 since installing its five boxes 9 months ago — an estimate we assume doesn’t factor in the millions Ebay paid for the boxes themselves. Bloom makes about one box a day at the moment and believes that within 5 to 10 years it can drive down the cost to about $3,000 to make it suitable for home use. Sounds awfully aggressive to us. Nevertheless, Bloom Energy will go public with details on Wednesday — until then, check the 60 Minutes sneak peek after the break.
[Thanks, Abe P.]
In the world of energy, the Holy Grail is a power source that’s inexpensive and clean, with no emissions. Well over 100 start-ups in Silicon Valley are working on it, and one of them, Bloom Energy, is about to make public its invention: a little power plant-in-a-box they want to put literally in your backyard.
You’ll generate your own electricity with the box and it’ll be wireless. The idea is to one day replace the big power plants and transmission line grid, the way the laptop moved in on the desktop and cell phones supplanted landlines.
It has a lot of smart people believing and buzzing, even though the company has been unusually secretive – until now.