Is there a new dawn of smarter power grid tools emerging? Finally?
A new type of smart grid is emerging that includes power electronics and specifically solid state transformers. That’s the type of power grid that looks a lot more like the Internet with distributed and decentralized power grid management.
GlassPoint Solar just raised $26 million in venture capital and built a pilot project to prove that its solar steam equipment could help oil companies pry loose of heavy crude and make it easier to extract.
A startup that aggregates data about energy use and green characteristics of buildings, Honest Buildings, has raised its first venture round. Using information technology to address resource constraints is one of the few areas of cleantech that VCs still seem willing to invest in.
When solar maker Solyndra files for bankruptcy it could lose a big chunk of its VC backers $1.1 billion (we’ll see how much any assets go for). That could make it the largest loss for venture capitalists in history.
GE has unveiled the second winners of its smart grid challenge, this time focused on home energy. GE says along with its VC partners, it’s investing another $63 million — of its $200 million fund — into 10 companies and giving $100,000 awards to 5 more.
Enphase Energy, which makes small distributed microinverters for solar panels, filed an S-1 yesterday for a $100 million IPO. Here’s the breakdown of how much Enphase is earning, spending, and shipping, and who will win out in the public debut.
Startup Streetline, which uses wireless sensors and cell phones to find parking spots for drivers, announced it has raised $15 million from Fontinalis Partners, the investment fund from former Ford CEO Bill Ford, as well as RockPort Capital Partners and Sutter Hill Ventures.
Selling energy storage technology to utilities can be a risky business, according to a group of venture capitalists at an energy storage conference in Silicon Valley Wednesday.
Despite the fact that cleantech investment fell off a cliff in the first quarter of the year, talk of the “seeds of revival” (i.e. investment) is starting to creep back into both clean power projects and cleantech ventures thanks to the funds from the stimulus package. While layoffs are still hitting industries like solar and wind, and biofuels are struggling across the board, if this morning’s funding news is any indicator, then it looks like the federal funds are actually starting to thaw the pocketbooks of the capital holders. Just a little bit.
This morning we’ve heard about three different cleantech investments in smart grid, distributed clean power and even, gasp, next-gen biofuels. GE and a group of investors including Altira, Rockport Capital Partners, NGP Energy Technology Partners, and the venture capital arm of Chevron Technology Ventures, have invested $10 million into small wind builder Southwest Windpower. The stimulus package allocates $872 million over 10 years for federal tax credits for distributed clean power generation like small wind.
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