The green keeps rolling in for greentech companies this week.
Since GroSolar, NGP Energy Technology Partners, PlascoEnergy, Agraquest, OPX Biotechnologies, Viryd Technologies and Cyrium Technologies raised cash earlier this week (see Funding Roundup: Spreading the Greentech Wealth), more announcements have caught Greeentech Media's attention.
Dow Jones VentureOne and Ernst & Young on Thursday said greentech venture-capital deals in the first half of the year reached $1.1 billion, while others -- such as the Cleantech Venture Network -- say the number is much higher (see Global Greentech VC Hits $1.1B).
Eric Wesoff, a senior analyst at Greentech Media, said solar investments alone have surpassed $1.2 billion so far this year, as of last week (see Solar Venture-Capital Funding Powers Past Biofuels). Those numbers include U.S. investments, as well as some deals from Europe and Israel.
As more funding announcements arrive, it looks like this year's venture-capital totals will shoot well past last year's.
Israel's Latest Solar Son
Israel-based SolarEdge Technologies scored $11.8 million in its first round of venture-capital funding, according to a VentureWire story Friday.
SolarEdge is developing power-conversion technologies that combine hardware and software to improve solar-system efficiencies, according to VentureWire.
Founded last year, SolarEdge is supposedly still in stealth mode.
Fuel My Cell
In return, Standard gets 2.4 million shares of Trulite common stock, which trades under the ticker symbol "TRUL.OB."
Houston, Texas-based Trulite said it will use the funding to support the development, manufacturing and commercialization of its sodium-borohydride fuel cells.
Including loans and other financing that Standard has converted into equity, the company now owns 54.3 percent of Trulite.
Battery Firm Gets $25 Million Charge
International Battery said Wednesday it will take home up to $25 million in funding from Digital Power Capital to complete its manufacturing plant and spur development of its lithium-ion battery technology.
Oakland, N.J.-based International Battery's manufacturing plant will produce lithium-ion rechargeable cells and batteries for large applications such as hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
Lithium-ion batteries, often found in consumer electronics such as cell phones, have caught the interest of the plug-in and electric-vehicle community because they are more powerful for their size.
But they are expensive and also have the problem of "thermal runaway" -- overheating and even catching fire. A number of researchers and entrepreneurs, including International Battery, are working to try to solve those problems (see Batteries Key to Plugging in at Electric Vehicle Symposium).
Xcel Gifts $23M Worth of Grants
Utility Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) said late Thursday that it doled out $23 million worth of grants to 22 renewable energy projects spanning such sectors as solar, biofuels and wind.
The money came from the Minneapolis-based utility's renewable-energy fund, which is fueled by Xcel ratepayers to expand and develop renewable-energy technologies.
The utility awarded $8.2 million to energy-production projects and $14.4 million for research and development endeavors.
Among the recipients is InterPhases Research, a Westlake Village, Calif., company that snagged $1 million to develop a pilot manufacturing line for its thin-film technology.
Freenerg, a solar-electric leasing company, also garnered $1.5 million.
The Minneapolis-based business said it will use the financing to test the commercial viability of leasing and servicing rooftop solar panels for homes.
Similar models have been successful in the commercial sector, but companies have had a harder time applying it at a residential level.
But companies and cities have been exploring various financing and service approaches to help make residential solar more affordable (see Power Purchases for the People and Berkeley to Finance Solar Installations)
Check out the complete list of Xcel's grant recipients by clicking here.