Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Clean Sweep 42

A round-up of recent news in clean technology and cleantech investment.

Welsh solar tech developer G24 Innovations has raised its second major investment in less than two months.
Following a $20m injection from Morgan Stanley Principal Investments in June, the Cardiff firm has secured $30m from new Luxembourg-based fund 4RAE. 4RAE partner Rijkman Groenink, formerly CEO at ABN Amro, takes a seat on the G24i board.
G24i is developing dye-sensitised thin-film solar cells based on the same titanium dioxide technology as US firm Konarka, and has European manufacturing rights to the tech.

Aldershot-based renewables group Segen has raised £1m growth funding from Cape Verde Capital. Cape Verde is the renewable energy investment wing of the Wates Family Enterprise, a family trust associated with the eponymous construction group, and takes a 20% stake in Segen.
Segen supplies and installs a range of small-scale renewable generation systems, including solar PV, wind turbines and CHP. The firm is also developing a concentrating solar pilot plant in Andalusia.

Alternative Waste Solutions, a Newcastle-based plastics recycler, has raised £6 million follow-on funding from E-Synergy and new investor Robeco. The investment goes towards expanding the firm's bottle-processing plant in Lincolnshire.
Technology specialist E-Synergy previously backed AWS in a £2 million round in January, alongside NorthStar Equity Investors.

In what must be one of Europe's largest private equity backed renewable energy deals, Blackstone has confirmed (NB: PDF) a Euro1bn+ partnership with Windland Energieerzeugungs.
Windland is building a 400MW offshore wind farm of 80 turbines off the north of Germany.

Spanish solar manufacturer DC Wafers has raised Euro3m from Pamplona-based investor Clave Mayor. DC produces polysilicon wafers for photovoltaic applications, and is also backed by Spanish VC iNova Capital.

Swedish solar tech start-up Sol Voltaics has raised undisclosed seed funding from investors including Scatec Adventure, Provider Venture Partners, Teknoinvest and Nano Future Invest.
The company is a spin-off from Lund-based nanotech firm QuNano. Both firms are based on tech developed at Lund University, with Sol Voltaic commercialising nanowire-based PV cells for solar concentrator applications.

In another solar-related deal, mid-market buyout house Granville Baird backed an MBO at Meier Vakuumtechnik. The firm, based in Bocholt, Germany, provides vacuum lamination systems for the photovoltaic industry. The buyout aims to better position the firm to respond to new opportunities in the fast-growing market.

The solar space was busy everywhere - must be the summer heat.
Recurrent Energy of New Jersey secured an initial $75m growth capital from Hudson Clean Energy Partners. Recurrent develops and operates distributed solar power systems on behalf of large-scale energy users.
New York's Wakonda Technologies raised a $9.5m first round led by Advanced Technology Partners. Wakonda is developing gallium-arsenide cells produced by a 'virtual single crystal' technique which it says can substantially reduce production costs.
And Chinese solar developer ET Solar phoned home with a $31m private placement led by NewMargin Growth Fund. ET manufactures a range of PV components and systems, from ingots and wafers through to integrated tracking systems.

Back in the US, Google.org, the investment arm of the omnipresent IT group, joined in two electric car fundraisings from its RechargeIT programme. Californian vehicle developer Aptera raised a $24m round to help bring its rather natty-looking three-wheeler to market, including $2.75m from Google.
And ActaCell of Texas raised a $5.8m first round from Google.org, DFJ Mercury, Applied Ventures and Good Energies. The company is developing lithium-ion batteries for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, based on research at the University of Texas.

Water purification company HaloSource meanwhile raised a further $11.5m round from Origo Sino-India and Origo Resource Partners, plus existing investors. The firm previously raised $15m from Masdar Clean Tech Fund around a year ago.

Finally, a smallish deal in a hotly-tipped sector - carbon-management IT group Carbonetworks raised a $5m first round led by NGEN Partners. The Canadian company develops software to help corporations monitor and manage their global greenhouse gas emissions.

Phew - a busy couple of weeks in all. Don't deals usually drop off in the summer?

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