Utilities embrace Green Button energy data project

Nine more utilities, and three large energy vendors, announced support on Thursday for the Green Button project, which enables utility customers to download their energy consumption data with a click of a button and also use that data for energy-saving apps.

GE invests in and licenses solar tech from eSolar

GE has made a strategic investment in solar thermal startup eSolar and has entered into a deal for an exclusive license to deploy eSolar’s technology in combination with natural gas power plants.

Khosla Bets on Wind, Joins GE to Back Danotek

UPDATED High-profile cleantech investor Vinod Khosla has made his first publicly announced bet in the wind industry, backing Danotek Motion Technologies, a designer and manufacturer of advanced electrical generators for wind turbines. Khosla’s venture firm Khosla Ventures led the $13.2 million round of funding for the Canton, Mich.-based startup, and according to the release, this marks the first investment for Khosla Ventures’ new “late-stage Venture Expansion Fund.”

CMEA Capital, Energy Capital Management and GE Energy Financial Services, the investment arm of General Electric (s GE) also joined the round, which Danotek said will help it expand R&D, increase its staff and ramp up production of its generators. Scott Mabie, Danotek’s director of business development, told us the firm plans to produce about 1,000 generators next year and reach 4,000 units annually within three years.

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GE Jumps Into Offshore Wind Biz, Buys ScanWind

wind_turb_mainGeneral Electric (S GE) has never hidden its intention to gobble up startups with promising technology in order to expand its business. The conglomerate followed through on that promise again on Monday with the announcement that its energy division has acquired ScanWind, a Norwegian developer of advanced drive train wind turbine technologies for offshore wind projects.
Financial details of the acquisition weren’t revealed, but the deal should boost GE’s position in the emerging offshore wind industry. GE is one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers with more than 12,000 of its turbines deployed at onshore installations globally. But onshore wind technology can’t be used for offshore applications without significant changes because of different environmental conditions and the need for larger turbines when offshore. That’s why GE currently only has one offshore installation, a 3.6 megawatt turbine at a demonstration facility off the coast of Arklow, Ireland.
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OutSmart: Tapping Power Lines to Manage Building Energy

Many companies looking to manage the energy consumption of rooms and buildings often first turn to the power of wireless, because wireless standards like Zigbee can make energy management systems relatively cheap and easy to deploy. Not OutSmart, a 1.5-year-old startup based in Natick, Mass., which sells an energy management product for buildings based on a proprietary powerline protocol. Investors seem to think the plan to use existing electrical wiring — and its secret communications sauce — is a decent one: On Wednesday morning, the company plans to announce that it has raised $2 million in seed financing from East Coast investors Bainco and The Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG), as well as incubator Manifold Products.

OutSmart says its nodes can be installed into the electrical wiring — breakers, switches, outlets and universal modules — of a commercial building, and the building’s energy consumption can then be managed by a web-based dashboard. OutSmart says its system can be used to connect to wireless networks and wireless devices, but it doesn’t see the need to install what it calls a “redundant mesh network.” The company is targeting owner-occupied commercial buildings, multi-unit residential buildings and university campuses (it can scale up across buildings) and plans to install its first pilot project in the third quarter of this year at its own headquarters.
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Wireless Scorecard, Recession Edition

[qi:083] The financial results are in, so in order to give you guys an idea of how the major U.S. carriers are doing, we’ve gathered together the relevant data from their fourth-quarter wireless results and laid them out below. It’s looking like cheap is chic and the iPhone is keeping AT&T on a winning streak when it comes to new subscribers. Next quarter we’ll pay attention to Sprint and T-Mobile to see how their prepaid plans are faring after introducing new $50 plans. And perhaps AT&T and Verizon will start breaking out their prepaid customers. Read More about Wireless Scorecard, Recession Edition