Investments spanned nearly every greentech sector last week as investors funded solar and wind power, biofuels, energy efficiency, energy storage, transportation and even a company that makes fertilizer from sewage.
Read more about all these deals here:
- Concentrating-solar company GreenVolts Inc. raised $30 million from Oak Investment Partners (see Green Light post). The San Francisco company, which uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto solar cells, is developing a 2-megawatt power plant for the Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
- Confluence Solar Inc. raised $12.7 million in its first round of funding. The one-year-old company, based in Hazelwood, M.O., is developing technology to make it cheaper to manufacture single-crystal, or monocrystalline, silicon. The company is opening a new center to develop the technology. Investors for the new round include Convexa Capital, DC Chemical, Scatec Adventure AS – which is chaired by Alf Bjørseth, founder of large solar company Renewable Energy Corp. – and Oceanshore Ventures.
- Thin-film solar firm Sencera has signed a deal to raise $15.6 million in equity funding. Under the terms of the deal, the company has received $5.2 million and will receive two more payments of $5.2 million when it reaches certain development milestones. The company didn't disclose the milestones. Charlotte, N.C.-based Sencera said the money would help finance its first solar-panel factory, expected to have the capacity to produce up to 35 megawatts of panels per year. It also plans to use the money to accelerate the development of its second-generation panel, made from amorphous silicon and microcrystalline silicon. The company in April raised a $3.6 million round led by The Quercus Trust and in June said it hoped to raise $35 million to build its 35-megawatt plant, which it plans to build in 7-megawatt increments (see Sencera Sees Need for Solar Speed).
- Bharat Petroleum Corp. plans to invest 22 billion rupees ($480 million) in a joint venture to produce biodiesel from jatropha seeds, reported the Hindu Business Line newspaper. Bharat Renewable Energy, a joint venture among Bharat, jatropha grower Nandan Biomatrix Ltd. and construction company Phapoorji Palonji Co. (see Bharat Petroleum Plans $480M Biodiesel Investment).
- Green Biologics is looking to raise £3.5 million ($6.33 million) to commercialize its biofuels technology. The British company signed a contract with Oaxmi Organic Industries in India to build a demonstration plant, also in India, that makes biobutanol from molasses. The companies expect the plant to begin making 1,000 metric tons of butanol beginning in 2010.
- Suzlon Green Power Ltd. said it would spend $5 billion in the next five years to develop enough green energy to supply nearly 10 million people – mostly in India and China – with electricity (see Suzlon Pledges $5B for Renewable Energy). The Indian company, which owns a majority stake in wind-turbine company Suzlon Energy Ltd., plans to provide $1.5 billion in equity to the project, which would develop 3.5 gigawatts of electrical power, but didn't say how it would raise the rest of the money.
- Wind Power Holdings Inc. raised approximately $37 million for its subsidiary, Northern Power Systems Inc., which has designed wind turbines that it claims have fewer moving parts than conventional turbines, potentially reducing wear and tear and maximizing efficiency. RockPort Capital Partners and Allen & Co. LLC led the round. Vermont-based Northern Power was on the verge of bankruptcy when its previous parent company, Distributed Energy Systems, sold it to CB Wind, a new group of private investors, for $12.9 million in August (see Times Argus story). CB Wind afterward changed its name. All together, Northern Power said it has received $56 million in capital for its acquisition, growth and development. Previous investors include Century America LLC, Baker Investment LLC and others.
- Microstaq Inc., which makes valves that it claims make heating and cooling systems more energy efficient, raised $12.5 million in its second round of financing. Investors include Good Energies, which led the round, Yaletown Venture Partners and the Polygon Group. Austin-based Microstaq plans to use the money to expand sales and distribution of its so-called "micro electro mechanical systems" technology, which controls the pressure and flow of liquids at extreme temperatures. The company claims its valves have fewer moving parts than conventional valves, making them more reliable and less costly to maintain, and can enable heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems to use 20 percent less energy. The valves also can be used for refrigeration and automotive applications, the company said.
- Sustainable Spaces raised $6 million from RockPort Capital Partners and Shasta Ventures. The San Francisco company renovates homes to make them more energy efficient, such as by installing solar panels and less power-hungry lighting.
- Pentadyne Power Corp., which sells flywheels for energy storage, raised $22 million in its fifth round of funding (see Pentadyne Spins $22M for Flywheels). The company, based in Chatsworth, Calif., said it would use the money to expand into new markets, but didn't name those markets. Pentadyne's spinning discs store energy and deliver power a few seconds at a time, making it suitable for providing energy during blackouts before backup generators begin running.
- Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. in Vancouver, Canada, raised $10.5 million from VantagePoint Venture Partners and Foursome Investments Limited. Ostara engineers and builds chemical reactors that harvest nutrients from sewage and turn them into phosphorous-rich fertilizers. The three-year-old startup is building a $2.5 million facility near Portland, Ore., for public utility Clear Water Services (see Ostara Raises $10.5M for Fertilizer Recovery).
- Green Energy Technology, a silicon-wafer maker in Taiwan, plans to raise NT$826 million ($25.8 million) by issuing 5.9 million shares at NT$140 per share. The company, whose stock is traded on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, also is developing amorphous-silicon thin-film solar panels using equipment from Applied Materials.
- Open Energy Corp. said it is raising $4.7 million from The Quercus Trust. The Solana Beach, Calif.-based company, which is developing a variety of solar technologies, received $1.5 million in mid-September. According to the announcement, it will receive $2.7 million near the end of the month, with the remaining $500,000 coming in the form of forgiven debt. As part of the deal, board chairman and CEO David Saltman, who founded the company in 2005, will resign from both his positions and the current chief operating officer, David Field, will replace him. Open Energy trades over the counter as "OEGY."
- Schott Solar has set a price range for its planned initial public offering only a week after saying it would postpone the offering based on poor market conditions. The company plans to raise between €406.0 million and € 546.0 million by selling about 40.1 percent of its shares at between €14.50 and €19.50 per share. The German company in August said it had intended to raise up to €500 million ($743.3 million) with an IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (see Angling for IPOs in Tough Times).
- GreenChek Technology Inc. has raised $300,000 to develop hydrogen-based technology for transportation, as well as for stationary power generation. The company, which trades over the counter under the ticker symbol "GCHK," sold shares for 75 cents each as part of a private placement. GreenChek plans to use the money to help launch its hydrogen-related products. The company also makes an emission-reducing device that it claims can be installed in any vehicle.