Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Clean Sweep 77

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

Emissions management firm AMEE has closed a $5.5m second round led by Amadeus Capital Partners. Existing investors including O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Union Square Ventures also joined the round.
AMEE, which has offices in London and San Francisco, provides the data, modelling systems and application programming interface (API) to underpin enterprise carbon accounting packages. Customers include business analytics group SAS, Morgan Stanley and the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change. The new funding will be used for product development and international expansion.

Waste management group Sterecycle has raised £10m from unidentified institutional, retail and existing investors. The London-based firm has been backed in previous rounds by Goldman Sachs, Fidelity International, Impax Asset Management and Ailsa3Ventures.
Sterecycle operates the world's first autoclave plant for household waste in South Yorkshire, which separates waste into sterile organic fibre and recyclable non-organics. The fibre can then be used for land reclamation, or energy generation. The new money will go towards doubling capacity to 200kT/a, and developing a second site in Cardiff.

Water monitoring tech developer Intellitect Water has raised over £2m. SME investor Catapult Venture Managers invested £1m, with the remainder from existing investors including Pemberstone Investments.
Dorset-based Intellitect produces a range of monitoring instruments, including the Intellisonde which features 12 sensors in a compact head that can inserted directly into water pipelines.

Also in water treatment, Clean Filtration Technologies raised $1.5m from Dow Venture Capital and others, in the first part of a planned $3m fundraising. The company's CFT Turboclone hydroclone system remvoes total suspended solids from difficult-to-filter water.
And GeoPure HydroTechnologies raised an undisclosed first round led by Stockyard Capital. The Texas-based firm specialises in recycling contaminated water from mining and drilling operations.

Climate Change Capital Private Equity invested NKr85m (Euro10m) in silicon recycler Metallkraft as part of a KNr140m convertible bond issue.
The Norwegian firm is commercialising a process for recycling the silicon carbine slurry used in the wafer cutting stage of standard PV cell manufacturing. The new funds support plant development in Singapore to service REC's 740MW solar wafer plant.

London-based Frog Capital has invested Euro3m to acquire a stake in German biogas developer from the US-based TCW Group. The Münster-based firm produces biogas from manure and silage feedstocks, and is also backed by Ludgate Environmental Fund. TCW led a Euro60m round in May 2009.

US geothermal energy developer Vulcan Power has landed $108m from existing investor Denham Capital. The Oregon-based group is developing an estimated 300MW of geothermal resources in Nevade, California, Oregon and Arizona, and has long-term power purchase agreements with local utilities.

PV installer Petra Solar has raised a $40m round led by new investors Craton Equity Partners and Espírito Santo Ventures. Existing investors Element Partners, Blue Run Ventures, military venture fund OnPoint Technologies and Kuwait’s National Technology Enterprises Company also returned.
The New Jersey group specialises in installing its SunWave modules to utility poles and streetlights, delivering power straight to the grid. The new funding goes to recruitment and expanding its customer base.

PV tech group 1366 Technologies raised $5.15m from North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners, as part of a targeted $6.2m round.
The MIT spin-off is developing a range of novel module technologies, including a 'self-aligned cell' which promises mono-crystal efficiences at multi-crystal production costs and a 'grooved ribbon' busbar to improve photocurrent capture.

And, in a rare exit for cleantech VCs, US solar thermal tech developer Ausra has been bought by French energy group Areva. The California company, which develops and installs solar steam generators, was backed by VCs including Khosla Ventures, KPCB, Generation Investment Management, Starfish Ventures and KERN Partners, most recently raising $25.5m in April 2009. Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but a price over $200m has been mooted.

Electric vehicle infrastructure developer Coulomb Technologies raised a $14m second round led by Voyager Capital and Rho Ventures. The California company is rolling out open-access networks of urban 'ChargePoint' stations. Coulomb also announced a new 'Flex Billing' system which means drivers don't have to take a subscription to fill up at its charge points.

Clean energy advisors Nexamp has raised a $6.5m first round from Good Energies, Point Judith Capital, RCG Ventures and individual angels. The Massachusetts firm provides systems integration and project management services for energy generation, efficiency and management, for commercial, public sector and individual clients.

Wind turbine tech developer Viryd Technologies took $5m from investors including China's Shentong Group, which is also entering a joint venture to serve the renewables market. The Texas firm is developing drivetrain technology based on a continuously variable planetary (CVP) transmission developed by Fallbrook Technologies.

Micro-CHP developer ClearEdge Power reportedly raised $11m, on top of $15m last August. The California firm is now selling its ClearEdge5, a compact gas-fired heat and power unit aimed at the residential and small commercial market.

Further reading
The Carbon Trust announces £22m new funding for what it calls the six most promising technologies in marine energy: Atlantis Resources, Aquamarine Power, Hammerfest Strom UK, Marine Current Turbines, Pelamis Wave Power, and Voith Hydro.

New Scientist reports on research showing that current algal biofuel tech isn't as green as it's painted -
Andres Clarens at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville has modelled the environmental impacts of algal farms and concludes that they require six times as much energy as growing land plants - and emit significantly more greenhouse gases.

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