Green technology coninued to gain green over the past week, with a flurry of investments from venture capitalists as well as from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Starting in 2009, the DOE will begin dispensing $100 million to research centers to encourage scientific breakthroughs in a variety of areas such as energy storage, geological carbon sequestration and solar energy..
The DOE also announced three other new projects.
It will contribute $50 million in federal funding to nine projects to modernize the nation's electrical energy grid, with the goal of reducing the peak load electricity demand by 15 percent over five years. In addition, it will invest $86 million into the development of cellulosic biorefineries in Maine, Tennessee and Kentucky, and $7 million for biofuels research.
The week also saw investments in the solar arena, in addition to new rounds in wind turbines and transportation. Below are the details of some of the funding deals that took place in the past week:
• Xunlight Corp., a Toledo, Ohio-based developer of low-cost flexible thin-film solar modules, received $22 million in a second round of funding led by Trident Capital. Existing investors Emerald Technology Ventures and NGP Energy Technology Partners participated in the round.
• Infinia Corp., a Kennewick, Wash.-based developer of Stirling engine-based solar-thermal systems, raised $7 million in a second round of funding from Foxconn Technology Group. The news comes after the company in February raised $50 million from GLG Partners, Wexford Capital, Vulcan Capital, Khosla Ventures, EQUUS Total Return, Idealab and Power Play Energy (see Infinia Gets $50M for Engine-Powered Solar). Competitor Stirling Energy raised $100 million earlier this month (see Funding Roundup: Solar-Thermal Heats Up Despite Cool VC Climate).
• Solar-powered outdoor lighting developer SolarOne, based in Framingham, Mass., announced it had closed a second round of financing. SolarOne didn’t disclose the amount, but said investors included FreshTracks Capital and TSG Equity Partners.
• Hydrogen Engine Center, an Algona, Iowa-based developer of alternative-fuel internal combustion engines, completed a financing commitment of $4 million in private equity, as arranged by GenCap Solutions.
• British Petroleum (NYSE: BP) announced that it will take a 50-percent stake in Tropical BioEnergia, a joint venture between Brazilian companies Santelisa Vale and Maeda Group, which is constructing a 115-million-gallon-per-year ethanol refinery in Edeia, Brazil.
• AAER, a Montreal-based wind-turbine manufacturer, raised $7.5 million in equity funding from Canaccord Adams and National Bank Financial. The company will use the cash to purchase more turbine blades.
• Qingdao Land of State Power Environment Engineering, a Chinese producer of wind-energy turbines, raised $5 million from the Aureos China Fund.
• Broadwind Energy has raised $100 million by selling common stock to investment funds managed by Tontine Associates.
• Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers is planning to raise more than $400 million for a "green-growth" fund to invest in later-stage cleantech companies, according to PeHub, which also reports that former Vice President Al Gore is one of the people behind the pitch to Kleiner's partners
• Trident Capital, based in Menlo Park, Calif., said it plans to raise between $600 million and $800 million for its seventh fund this year. It will use part of the money to invest in green-technology companies.
• Millennium Private Equity, based in Dubai, last week raised $200 million for a global energy fund, for which it is ultimately targeting $1 billion.
• Chinese company JIC Tech will invest $207 million into renewable-energy projects across China, including two wind farms and a cellulosic-ethanol plant.
• American Water Works (NYSE: AWK), based in Voorhees, N.J., pulled in $1.25 billion in an initial public offering of 58 million shares at $21.50 per share. The offering priced below the expected range of between $24 and $26 per share, the Associated Press reported. American Water Works is a subsidiary of European electric and gas utility RWE.
• Dirtt Environmental, a Canadian green-building company that makes modular floors, walls and equipment, raised $25 million from Canaccord Adams, Blackmont Capital and D.F. Mackie.
• Medis Technologies (NSDQ: MDTL), a developer of a portable fuel-cell energy source for handheld electronics, announced it may sell up to $60 million of its registered common stock to Azimuth Opportunity over the next year and a half.