What's the future of alternative forms of energy such as solar power? Though the price of oil has dropped significantly since the high prices of last summer, many people hope that interest - and investment - will continue in solar as well as so-called clean technologies.
One technology company betting that the lesson of oil dependence has been well-learned is Eyelit, Inc. A developer of manufacturing execution software, Eyelit has been focusing much of its own energy on equipping solar companies with its technology in an attempt to expand beyond its roots as a tech supplier to the semiconductor industry.
"Silicon Valley is shifting to Solar Valley," said Dan Estrada, vice president of sales and business development at Eyelit, based in Toronto with an office in San Jose.
Eyelit, whose Manufacturing Management suite of software spans manufacturing, intelligence, quality, and other functions, has signed up several noteworthy customers in the solar market. One is Solyndra, a Fremont, CA-based manufacturer of photovoltaic devices for the commercial rooftop market. Another is A123Systems of Cambridge, MA, which makes lithium ion batteries using nanoscale electrode technology. A123, which has been funded by such companies as General Electric, Motorola, and Procter and Gamble, will use Eyelit's software in five factories in China. Last month, Eyelit signed CaliSolar, a metallurgical-grade silicon solar cell provider.