A Washington State solar power company just got over three million dollars in additional funding. Earlier Infinia had investments from both Vinod Khosla and Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. That's another little tech company based in Washington State.
Infinia uses parabolic dishes to focus solar energy on a Stirling engine. That in turn takes the heat and turns it into electricity. Here's the wikipedia piece on how Stirling engines take heat, convert it to mechanical energy, and then we all know how turning wheels or shifting pistons become electricity. Seems so obvious. Eliminates the need to cover huge areas with fixed solar panels. The Infinia website has videos on their system. They even propose their system be used for autos.
Here are some of Infinia's tech specs. They use helium as the working fluid. Insert gas. They claim very few moving parts and minimal maintenance.