Intersolar's first conference in North America last week stirred up a flurry of news about the solar-power industry, including funding announcements from Recurrent Energy and Wakonda Technologies.
Recurrent Energy, which builds and operates solar power systems in exchange for long-term power-purchase agreements, raised $75 million (see Recurrent Energy Grabs $75M). The company, based in San Francisco, in May announced a project to install and operate at least 5 megawatts worth of projects on top of city-owned buildings.
Wakonda Technologies raised $9.5 million for developing gallium-arsenide solar cells (see Wakonda, Nuventix Raise Millions). Gallium-arsenide panels are more effective at converting sunlight into electricity than other materials in use today, but their high cost has relegated them mainly to panels built for satellites.
Wakonda, based in Medford, Mass., claims its technology could make it cheaper to produce the cells.
Two public solar companies also are looking to raise more capital. Read on to find out more and for investment news from other greentech sectors.
- Conergy, a struggling Germany solar company that plans to sell half its factories and cut 500 jobs, is seeking €450 million ($713 million) by selling additional shares. The company, which trades on the Frankfurt exchange under the ticker "CGY," needs money to pay off a loan and other expenses. The public company plans to seek approval for the sale from its shareholders in August.
- Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL) aims to raise $120 million by selling senior convertible notes. The company, based in Changzhou, China, plans to use the money to expand its manufacturing of silicon ingots, wafers, solar cells and solar panels. Underwriters have the option to offer an additional $18 million in notes.
- ET Solar Group raised $31 million by selling private shares to institutional investors, who include NewMargin Growth Fund, China Equity Links and Development Principles Fund. The company, based in Nanjing, China, has secured deals to sell solar panels and sun-tracking systems to projects in the United States and Italy.
- Segen, a British business that develops small-wind and solar-power projects, received a £1 million ($2 million) investment from Cape Verde Capital. The company has carried out projects in the United Kingdom and Spain.
- Shanghai Hanhong Precision Machinery, which makes equipment for making polysilicon ingots and solar cells, is reportedly planning an initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Founded in 2005, the company also has sold furnaces for making monocrystalline silicon ingots to Sharp in Japan.
- Arisdyne Systems raised $5.3 million, which should enable it to be spun off from its parent company, Five Star Technologies. Arisdyne, based in Cleveland, engineers and sells equipment for producing biodiesel and ethanol.
- Iogen Energy, a joint venture between Iogen and Royal Dutch Shell, is expected to receive an additional, undisclosed investment from Shell for commercializing its cellulosic ethanol technology that converts wheat straw into fuels. Iogen, based in Ottawa, had planned to build a commercial plant in Shelley, Idaho, but changed its mind and decided to build in Saskatchewan, Canada, instead (see Plans for Two Cellulosic Ethanol Plants Scrapped).
- Nuventix raised $14 million to market its SynJet technology, which keeps lighting and electronics from overheating by blowing bursts of highly turbulent air. The company, based in Austin, Texas, has lined up LED makers as customers, including Philips Lighting.
- A source close to CarbonFlow, which is developing software for the carbon credit-trading market, told Earth2Tech that it has raised a first round of funding. The San Francisco startup's Carbon Suite would enable participants in programs for trading carbon-dioxide emission allowances to easily register, certify and monitor projects and transactions, the company said.
- HaloSource raised $11.5 million to commercialize its water-purification technology. The Seattle company's technology uses N-halamines for water purification and antimicrobial treatments. It also uses chitosan to bind sediments or pollutants for easy filtering. HaloSource has been selling its water purifying cartridges in India, China and Brazil. Clorox has licensed HaloSource's technology for making antimicrobial towels, which are sold at Wal-Mart.
- ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT) has launched cleantech and carbon funds and plans to work with venture-capital firms Khosla Ventures, KPCB and Bessemer Venture Partners to invest in startups. ArcelorMittal, a steel maker based in Luxembourg, is putting in $20 million into the cleantech fund, and the money is destined for thin-film solar panel maker Miasolé. The €100 million ($157 million) carbon fund would invest in energy efficiency, methane capture and other projects for reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, which contribute to global warming.
- Inverante, a Spanish investment firm, plans to invest €3.5 billion ($5.55 billion) in the next three years into the energy industry, including wind, solar and biomass. The firm is currently developing a wind-energy project with ONE, a government-owned energy company in Morocco.
- Whitewater Technology Group in Israel raised $7.1 million from Gmul Investment in Tel Aviv. Whitewater invests in water technology companies working on quality monitoring, purification, wastewater treatment and security systems.
- Fortum, a public power company in Finland, plans to put $10 million into a cleantech fund managed by the Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital in Vancouver, Canada, as part of its strategy to invest in cleantech technologies. The company operates power plants and distributes and sells electricity and heat.