Newton Becker, a Bright Source for Solar Thermal Energy, Dies at 83

newt beckerConsidered by some as the father of solar thermal electricity generation, Newton Becker, was the founding investor and Chairman of the Board of Luz International – the company that went on to become what BrightSource is today. He died Monday in LA at age 83.

Back when, Luz became the largest solar company in the world by building solar electric generating power plants. From 1984 to 1991 Luz (which was founded in Israel) built and sold nine solar energy nine plants (SEGS I-IX) with 350 MW of capacity, enough to supply the residential needs of 540,000 people in the Los Angeles area.

Newton also invested in and was a chairman of the Board of Directors of “Electric Fuel” during its start-up period 1993-5. Electric Fuel made Zinc Air Batteries for Electric Vehicles – about 400 miles for the EV1 and about 250 miles for a Mercedes Van – and could be refueled with new zinc plates in about 10 minutes. He also made huge inroads for chartered accountants everywhere.

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