In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Alstom’s Coradia iLint has completed test operation in Austria and is ready for production.
  • A huge cash investment at Aurora Solar enables the growth of remote, accurate installations.
  • It’s #GivingTuesday — here are three ways to give that benefit our environment.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

Hydrogen trains in Austria

French TGV-maker Alstom’s Coradia iLint, the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell train, has just completed three months of successful test operation on ÖBB’s (Austrian Federal Railways) regional lines. It had previously received official approval from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Protection,  Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation, and Technology.

Austria is now the second country in Europe after Germany to approve the Coradia iLint as a clean alternative to diesel trains. Alstom currently leads the world in offering a proven, tested hydrogen train ready for series production. Germany rolled out the world’s first Coradia iLint trains in September 2018 in Lower Saxony. 

Gian Luca Erbacci, senior vice president of Alstom Europe, said:

We are immensely proud to confirm that the Coradia iLint has proven that it is suitable for all  service routes — even on steep sections its performance is convincing. I also congratulate OBB for being a pioneer in testing hydrogen technology on rail in Austria.

Digital solar

Aurora Solar, a SaaS company that develops tools that enable solar professionals to design and sell solar remotely — rather useful in a pandemic — announced yesterday that it has raised $50 million in Series B, bringing the company’s total investment to more than $70 million. This round was led by ICONIQ Capital.

Christoper Hopper, cofounder of Aurora Solar, told Electrek:

There simply isn’t a way to scale residential solar without changing the current process of installing solar and reducing its soft costs, and Aurora is addressing both. We’re providing technology solutions to increase the speed and accuracy of remote site assessments and LIDAR-based shade analysis to help drive down the cost of solar energy for homeowners.

Aurora enables solar installers to accurately perform remote solar shading analysis, design solar and storage systems, forecast energy production, calculate bill savings, generate sales proposals with financing options, and more.

This latest round of financing will be used to continue hiring across all teams and to ramp up developing new features and services to help solar installers.

#GivingTuesday

It’s #GivingTuesday — a movement that was created in 2012 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City as a “day that encourages people to do good.” Here are three ideas for giving that benefit our environment:

  • Grist is a nonprofit journalism website that covers climate, environment, and justice. They are not paywalled, so everyone can read their excellent work. We at Electrek are big admirers of Grist, which is aiming to raise $10,000 in 24 hours. You can donate to Grist by clicking on this link.
  • The Foundation for Climate Restoration (F4CR) is a small but mighty nonprofit that works to change legislation, inspire movements, and ensure we have a habitable planet for the next generation. Its donation link is here, and your donation will be matched dollar for dollar today. You can learn more about the FCR in the short video below:
  • Ecosia, the ethical search engine that uses advertising revenues to plant trees, has opened a pop-up store where you can gift a real tree for the holidays — only one planted in a part of the world at risk from deforestation. You can choose from trees to protect wildlife, trees to tackle climate change, and trees to fight hunger. The gifter will receive a certificate highlighting the cause and details of the trees bought.

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