Today in Cleantech

This morning, General Electric and some high-flying venture capital partners named the first 12 winners of the first $55 million of a $200 million “ecomagination challenge” they launched this summer. For those hoping the contest would open the VC floodgates to companies not already in the pipeline for corporate cash, it may have been a bit disappointing. Most of the winners are already pretty well funded, and a few, such as data center energy monitoring startup SynapSense and home energy networking startup Consert, are already getting money from GE. Still, there were a few interesting new companies in the mix, including five “innovation award winners” that each received $100,000, and two companies that earned mention for their work in bringing greentech to the developing world — solar-refrigeration startup Promethean Power and prefab solar rooftop designer Armageddon Energy. What’s more, none of Tuesday’s investment winners appeared to be too wacky to actually work, unlike some of the winners of the popular vote portion of the challenge.