The industry journal for global investors, innovators & deal-makers
Investor appetite hots up for clean energy private equity funds New energy future for oil giants: Exclusive interview with chairman of Shell UK
Boston stakes claim as Americaâ€™s clean energy hub Clean technology thrives on corporate partnerships Generalist private equity drawn to maturing energy technology Russiaâ€™s institutional investors broaden investment horizons Germany gears industry to clean energy growth IT developers target energy efficient opportunities
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2 November 2010, Park Lane Hilton, London
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T U O 9
D 0 L SO 20
Editor’s introduction Features
In-depth reviews, new perspectives and industry insights
Institutional investor appetite hots up for clean energy-focused private equity
With institutional investors looking to take advantage of the growing theme of clean energy, a more cautious approach to private equity investing could see some investors miss out.
Boston stakes its claim as centre for clean energy innovation
With its established technology potential, thriving investment scene and a supportive state government, Boston could yet stake its claim as North America’s clean energy hub.
IT developers target emergent opportunities in energy efficiency
The growth of new energy technologies, combined with an appetite for change within established industries, offers a range of new opportunities for IT innovators.
Thoughts, opinions and insights from the industry’s foremost experts and leading figures
James Smith, Shell UK Oil giants redefine roles in new energy future
James Smith shares his outlook on the role of large oil companies in the transition to a green energy economy, taking a pragmatic approach that capitalises on existing expertise, while satisfying the demands of shareholders.
Growth stories, expert insights and fresh outlooks on the latest issues facing the global clean energy space
Essential news and intelligence on industry developments, investments and company activity
Rachel Carroll, Ener1 Clean technology thrives on corporate partnerships Partnerships between technology developers and large manufacturers will be vital to the global growth of renewable energy.
Investment strategies and industry views from active investors across the globe
Ilya Golubovich, Dale Wasserstein, I2BF Russia’s institutional investors seek exposure to new energy Russian institutional investors are increasingly eyeing up opportunities beyond their domestic borders, with clean technology set to benefit.
Energy efficiency news
Listed company results
Dan Hatcher, Gresham Private Equity Generalist private equity drawn to maturing energy technology
The latest appointments, promotions and new initiatives for leading industry investors, executives and entrepreneurs
As the clean energy sector continues to mature, companies in this sector seeking further capital are gaining the attention of private equity firms.
Shaun Kingsbury, Hudson Clean Energy Partners Governments must compete for renewable energy investment
Growth strategies and financing plans from the industry’s most promising companies
With favourable investment environments in place, private equity and buy-out investors are targeting regions with growing clean energy industries.
Jürgen Habichler, Mountain Cleantech Germany gears up industry towards clean energy future Despite potential cuts to its support structure, the German clean energy economy is still attracting investors in search of mature opportunities.
Deal Tracker A global round-up of all the deals publicly announced in the last month, including investments, acquisitions and major contracts
elcome to May’s edition of Envirotech & Clean Energy Investor. With the global economic downturn putting the squeeze on institutional investors, allocations to venture capital have inevitably been affected as investors seek to de-risk their portfolios. Emerging technology has traditionally relied on venture capital for support and the asset class as a whole has been feeling the pinch. Despite the tightening of belts, investors of all kinds do seem to be showing a growing interest in clean energy, with government support creating increasingly favourable environments for growth. In this issue we speak to a range of investors to get their opinions on this emerging asset class, to ﬁnd out where the best opportunities are to be found, what they look for in a fund manager and potentially what are the barriers to entry for this emerging sector. While interest is growing, the danger could be that these notoriously cautious institutional investors could miss out on some of the best opportunities. While the private equity industry displays a growing interest in clean energy, the development of the sector remains closely tied to the involvement of large corporates and industrial groups. In an interview with Shell UK’s chairman James Smith, he explains the role that energy companies can play in bringing on low carbon technologies, while also meeting the challenges of shareholder expectation for short- and long-term success. Partnerships between small technology developers and larger players will become the accepted practice, Smith says, as they look to spread the risk and increase the possibility of utility-scale adoption. This approach is supported by Rachel Carroll of energy storage company Ener1, as she reveals how the company’s plans for global growth are tied in with partnerships with larger equipment manufacturers. For many in the industry, these partnerships between specialist technology developers and large manufacturers could hold the key for the global growth of emerging energy technologies. With growing sums of capital set to be deployed, regions are increasingly vying for this investment, highlighting the need for favourable growth environments. An example of a region setting its stall out to encourage clean energy is Boston, in the US state of Massachusetts. Supported by the progressive attitude of State Governor Deval Patrick, the region is looking to capitalise on its technological expertise and ﬁnancial resources, and could yet stake its claim as North America’s hub for clean energy development. Many thanks again for all your contributions and suggestions for our Deal Radar section. We have had some great feedback from featured companies, some of which have received enquiries from prospective investors as a result of appearing. Do let us know of any companies which you feel merit an increased proﬁle in this way. Benjamin Chambers Editor
Looking for investment? Let the right people know. Envirotech and Clean Energy Investor now includes a new section on high-quality companies looking for finance. Selected companies will get exposure to the journal’s distribution base of investment professionals from over 1,000 investment institutions and over 400 private equity and venture capital firms. If you know of a company or investment opportunity that merits the attention of the industry’s most active investors, please contact Chris Hardman at:
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Editor Benjamin Chambers Deputy Editor Natalie Coomber Production Editor Michael Davis Reporters Tom Brown Jessica Davies Contributors Chris Hardman Sam McGlone Charlotte Moore Research David Price Design Mariola Gajewska Sales & Marketing Cindy Zarebski Shelley Wilson Advertising & Sponsorship Alex Fetrot Publisher Richard Sachar CONTACT US Editorial Editorial@EnvirotechInvestor.com Tel +44 20 7845 7595 Subscriptions Subs@EnvirotechInvestor.com Tel +44 20 7845 7576 Advertising Ads@EnvirotechInvestor.com Tel +44 20 7845 7590 Head Office New Energy World Network Ltd Burleigh House 357 Strand London WC2R 0HS Tel +44 20 7845 7595 Printer The Magazine Printing Company Plc. www.magprint.co.uk Envirotech & Clean Energy Investor (ISSN 20428014) is published monthly by New Energy World Network Limited. Copyright © 2010 New Energy World Network Limited. All rights reserved. Registered in England, company no. 06695690. Cover © CnApTaK - Fotolia.com To protect our environment papers used in this publication are produced by mills that promote sustainably managed forests and utilise Elementally Chlorine Free process to produce fully recyclable material in accordance with an Environmental Management System conforming with BS EN ISO 14001:2004. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced to any retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the express written permission of the publisher. Envirotech Investor and Envirotech & Clean Energy Investor are trademarks of New Energy World Network Limited. The information in this journal does not, and is not intended to, constitute investment advice, or an offer or solicitation of interest in respect of any acquisition of any securities or shares, or the provision of investment management services to any person or organisation in any jurisdiction. New Energy World Network makes no guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of the information and disclaims any liability including incidental or consequential damage arising from errors or omissions.
Institutional investor appetite hots up for clean energy-focused private equity Many institutional investors are taking a closer look at the growing number of private equity funds targeting clean energy investments, however, the cautious approach displayed by some could see the best opportunities pass them by.
nvestments into renewable energy and associated technologies could reach more than $650bn by 2015, according to intelligence provider GBI Research. With funding having already surged to more than $336bn in 2009 from around $39bn in 2001, this growth rate will need considerable new capital to meet these estimates, with many in the industry pointing to institutions as potentially providing the bulk of this investment. With the global economic downturn still squeezing institutional investors, however, the appetite for this still-nascent asset class has some way to go before it reaches the mainstream. For funds raising capital, there are grounds for optimism, however. Despite a slow start to the year, the value of private equity investment in clean technology companies surged by 133 per cent in February, according to a report by information provider Zephyr. Investments rose to $547m, up from $235m in January. While not yet a full-blown recovery, more funds appear to be putting capital to work in this area, supported by the growing interest and backing from institutional investors, commonly referred to as limited partners (LPs). If the level of investments is to match pre-crunch heights, however, the sector must shrug off any suggestions of a bubble, and prove it can yield healthy, risk-adjusted returns. Institutional investors, stung by the economic downturn are increasingly wary as to risk, yet appear to be open to expanding their exposure to low carbon investments as part of their long-term strategies. With LPs often reluctant to engage with new and unproven sectors, the reality for many is that in delaying their entry into a dynamic and fastgrowing market, they may miss out on some of the sector’s huge promise for returns.
Youthful or naïve? An inevitable challenge for the clean energy investment space is its immaturity. Like new asset classes gone before, the lack of track record can understandably hamper fundraising. Kaarina Suikkonen, investment manager for private equity at investment manager Feri Institutional Advisors, says that the sector’s relative youth presents a potential barrier to entry for many LPs. ‘The track record – what has been proven and demonstrated – is still relatively thin,’ she says. Within Feri, the clean technology sector is defined quite broadly and focuses on it as part of a larger, socially responsible investment theme. With a wide investment range that encompasses technologies or services that reduce carbon emissions and improve the efficiency of resources, there is no
shortage of opportunities. Mature investments are currently the more attractive. ‘At the moment we are placing more emphasis on project finance, especially in Europe, as it is in a very interesting phase,’ Suikkonen says. While venture capital traditionally takes on risk as it seeks to back innovation, investors remain wary of the asset class as they look to de-risk their portfolio following the financial downturn. For prospective institutional investors, the sector needs to mature to ameliorate concerns as to any potential downsides. The irony facing the industry is that many investors will only invest in a new region or sector after they have seen evidence of good returns and have seen other influential investors commit first. At such point, of course, the best returns have already been and gone.
Do we trust that they will be able to protect our capital because we have to attract the capital of our own investors? Will they be able to deliver track returns which are in line with the risks they take?
Alison Klein Esselink, investment manager at private equity investor AlpInvest Partners, agrees that the growing maturity of the investment theme could boost confidence levels. This has influenced the firm’s investment strategy which currently targets the US’s more experienced venture capital sector. ‘Our mandate is global, but we decided it would have more weight towards North America because although the European regulatory framework and the culture might appear to be more supportive of this investment theme, in practice there is a higher number of firms that have been investing in it over a longer period of time in the US,’ she says. With the emerging nature of the clean technology space and, therefore, the youth of some of the private equity firms operating within it, there is an associated reticence from potential LPs who traditionally find reassurance in established teams and long track records. For Philippe Roesch, head of private equity at asset manager Auda, the value of having full confidence in an investment manager is fundamental to any investment, and even more so in emerging sectors. ‘Considering we are addressing an industry that is younger than most, with a shorter track record, we make sure we stick to our due diligence processes. But ultimately, what I have learned after three years in this space and working with investors, is that we depend even more on the managers and professionals,’ he says. With an almost heightened level of scrutiny for LPs to be convinced as to the investment proposition of a new
asset class, in some cases they require an increased level of certainty. The sector, and the fund managers themselves, must work hard to prove themselves. ‘Do we trust them?’ Roesch continues. ‘Do we trust that they will be able to protect our capital because we have to attract the capital of our own investors? Will they be able to deliver track returns which are in line with the risks they take?’ In the absence of deep sector experience, the role of a strong management team is essential, says AlpInvest’s Esselink. ‘It goes back to the team composition – what team have you brought together and how can you demonstrate that yours is the right strategy to go for. I would always like to see someone with direct principal investor experience,’ she says. For other investors, however, the lack of experience in the sector continues to provide a barrier to entry. Simon Faure, investment director at PPM Managers, the private equity fund investment business of financial services group Prudential, has not made any clean technology investments to date, preferring to take a more considered approach. Another challenge and a reflection of the sector’s immaturity is the comparatively small number of funds available for LPs to invest in. Compared to similar technology-focused investment themes, the breadth of fund available is much narrower, as quality funds with the requisite experience and track record are in shorter supply still. In the European private equity sector alone, there are 40 to 50 funds that are active targeting clean energy opportunities, compared to a total of about 1,500 across all business areas.
Growth patterns With successful exits for clean energy investors seen earlier in the year, the sector is gaining further traction, with investors taking notice of potential routes to exit. While the IPO market was notoriously tough in 2009, with many delaying and even cancelling their listing plans, the past few months has seen increased activity. Recently, US renewable fuels developer Amyris Biotechnologies filed for a $100m offering, while China’s JinkoSolar amended its filings with the Securities Exchange Commission after delaying plans to list in February. Rumours have also circulated that India-based Orient Green Power will go to market in the next few months. Last year’s $371m IPO of Massachusetts, US-based lithium-ion battery producer A123 Systems was the largest in 2009 and provided an eye-catching example of the sector’s potential. With clean energy IPOs offering a feasible exit strategy for investors, market confidence in the sector is bound to grow, according to Auda’s Roesch. ‘With the first successes from these funds, they will attract more money and the industry will develop. This means the number of funds will increase and a market balance will be found in the next five to ten years,’ he says. As specialist firms move on to their second funds and established, generalist investors branch into clean energy, the sector could establish itself further. In 2009, despite the global recession, debt was the biggest source of capital into the renewable energy sector, constituting around 45 per cent of total investments, according to GBI’s research. However, with equity offerings constituting some 12 per cent of overall investments, there is still some way to u
Institutional investors feel there is something big going on, they are starting to realise they cannot shut their eyes to it, but actually have to build their exposure
go to convince investors of all kinds that the sector offers a genuinely compelling opportunity. The transition to a more mainstream asset class has been accompanied by growing levels of awareness, which in turn has been translated to further support from governments. This acceptance of climate and energy as a global issue offers a key driver behind investor interest, according to Suikkonen at Feri. ‘Fossil fuels are no longer able to satisfy demand. There is a genuine market opening up,’ she says. ‘This goes handin-hand with the other global drivers of climate change and urbanisation. I think these are really what get people excited about the industry. It is not marginalised anymore; it has become the big story.’ With private equity investments in this sector beginning to generate returns, supported by strong governmental policy, LPs are warming up to clean technology as a genuine investment theme. ‘Institutional investors feel there is something big going on, they are starting to realise they cannot shut their eyes to it, but actually have to build their exposure,’ Suikkonen says. An example of government support in action was the recent launch of Hermes Private Equity’s Environmental Innovation Fund, as part of the government-backed UK Innovation Investment Fund. Intended to focus on low carbon opportunities through both fund and co-investments, it held a £125m first closing earlier this year. The fund is managed by asset manager Hermes, which acts as the pension fund manager for communications group BT. While the fund was launched to help the UK build on existing strengths in the sector and enable British companies to develop new technologies, Hermes’ investment remit means that in practice it will aim to invest in the sector’s top performers, irrespective of region. While this somewhat undermines the fund’s raison d’être of supporting UK innovation, the harsh practicalities of fund investment mean that Hermes’ existing obligations ensure that limiting the fund’s investment scope is simply not a viable option. This further reinforces some of the objections surrounding government participation in the sector as being at best misplaced, and at worst, counterproductive. Investors from other sectors also voiced their objections, arguing that
emerging sectors should be left to grow on their own terms and on their own merits.
Investment approach Encompassing areas from alternative power generation to energy efficiency, often the most compelling aspect for potential investors is relatively straightforward, preferring proven, cost-effective technology in established industries. While many potential participants may still hold reservations as to the viability of the clean energy sector, proven, transferrable technology can often sell itself and offer a less daunting entry point. ‘If you can offer something that is faster or better or cheaper, you don’t have to sell the environmental benefit,’ Esselink says. ‘The most compelling theme in this space is the capability of fundamental economic drivers to achieve what might otherwise be seen as an environmental benefit.’ A cautionary approach from LPs could yet seal the success of the sector, preventing hasty investments, overcommitments and overpriced companies. It is important that capital is allocated to support genuine opportunity and innovation, as opposed to the prospect of outsized returns. ‘Limited partners must question whether the industry and the opportunities are growing, or whether it is just exit money chasing the same deals,’ Suikkonen adds. Any growth in interest in a sector leads to the inevitable questions of whether the hype surrounding clean energy will lead to an investment bubble. For potential investors this can be off-putting and often translates into an increasingly rigorous approach to filtering potential funds. Roesch at Auda says, ‘There is an issue of green hype. We do a lot of analysis to see if there are any traces of a bubble with a firm’s transactions. For example, we look to see if there have ever been large multiples.’ For Ulrich Grabenwarter, head of equity fund investments at the European Investment Fund, there are fewer concerns. The inevitable growth of the sector and the attached value proposition is such that potential risks are an inevitable side-effect of the potential opportunities the sector holds. He is not of the opinion, however, that all money flowing into the space is a reflection of genuine interest. ‘In general, I do believe money follows the opportunity and not the other way round. If the industry can demonstrate there is money to be made in a specific investment approach, then the money will come.’ The consensus is that as the industry matures, both LPs and GPs will have to be more realistic and not expect the sky-high returns seen in previous, bubble-type investment sectors. ‘The general partners we have met recently for fundraising were very open. The level of returns they were targeting in the past may not be applicable today due to the industry maturing,’ Roesch says. This could see a more stable growth, negating potential bubble characteristics and allowing for a more gradual and sustainable expansion. Another familiar theme for potential investors is the capital intensive nature of portfolio companies. Many of the technologies in this space are not yet proven and investment
is needed, not just to scale up businesses but also fund demonstration projects. For many venture capital investors, technology risks offers a common issue, but again, one which could deter investors wary of taking on additional risk. Feri’s Suikkonen says, ‘The investment tends to be more capital-intensive and manufacturing-focused than pure information technology venture capital funds.’ For LPs considering the space, their participation could depend on their appetite for risk and historical commitments to venture as a whole, as opposed to specific objections to clean technology as an asset class.
Growing appetite For the fund managers themselves, there has been a noticeable shift in opinions from LPs in recent years. Tom Murley, head of the renewable energy team at private equity firm HgCapital admits that until recently, the sector was viewed with trepidation. He says, ‘Only five years ago, the few who invested in the sector were the pioneers. The majority of institutional investors were sceptical about the sector and not convinced that the technologies really worked or that governments were truly committed.’ Bruce Jenkyn-Jones, managing director of the listed equity funds at Impax Asset Management Group, has observed larger institutions becoming more active. ‘Gradually, interest shifted in the UK towards the larger county councils, with larger corporate pension funds like British Airways then becoming interested,’ he says. While not yet at the level of other, more established sectors, growing track record and positive investment performance has helped to persuade LPs as to the sector’s viability. ‘By 2005, it became much easier to persuade institutional clients to look at the sector once we had run the fund for several years and they could see it had notched up good performance over a three-year period,’ Jenkyn-Jones adds. As interest from both institutions and retail investors grows, so too an increasing number of investment managers have also started to offer new products targeting this area. ‘Many of the funds realised that although they had identified environmental technology as an interesting investment opportunity, they also knew that it needed the right expertise and were prepared to outsource fund management to people like us,’ says Jenkyn-Jones. The motivation for interest in the environmental technology sector still varies according to geographic region.
Environmental technology is a sector that is capable of generating the types of returns we require
According to Martijn Oosterwoud, product specialist at Zurich-based asset manager Sustainable Asset Management (SAM), sustainable investment themes are growing in prominence. ‘In the Netherlands, the Nordic region and France, most institutional investors are looking at the sector because they want to tilt their investment portfolio towards sustainability,’ he says. ‘But in the US, UK, Spain and Italy, institutional investors are focused on the capability of this sector to generate good returns for the portfolio.’ UK pension fund Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is one investor that has identified clean energy as a theme that chimes with its long-term strategy. David Russell, co-head of responsible investment at USS, says, ‘We decided climate change was an issue for pension funds as far back as 2001. We recognised that it was a long-term trend. ‘Our pension fund has a high number of young members which means that we need to keep our eyes clearly focused on ensuring we can generate the best possible returns in order to provide for the future. Environmental technology is a sector that is capable of generating the types of returns we require.’ USS currently has around 0.6 per cent of its total pension pot of $40bn invested in the sector. Russell says, ‘That may not sound like a serious capital commitment to the sector, but that’s because it’s still a small sector. We are effectively overweight the sector,’ Other LPs, meanwhile, also look to be considering the sector, despite the recent financial crisis. Philippe De Weck, senior investment manager at banking and asset management group Pictet Asset Management, says, ‘All institutions have suffered unprecedented losses and constraints on liquidity. We are, however, starting to see increased interest in the sector, in particular from the sovereign wealth funds and European institutional investors.’ With the asset management industry still hurting from the global downturn, the risks, perceived or otherwise, attached to an emerging investment theme inevitably demand a cautious approach. The long-term drivers of climate-risk, coupled with political will and technological innovation, however, should interest in the sector will grow. For most institutional investors, the allocation to clean energy and related technologies remains a small part of their overall portfolio, but with track records set to grow and weaker funds set to fall by the wayside, allocations should increase as the sector’s success stories come to the fore. The nature of the private equity fund investing industry is such that it is often described by investors in other asset classes as ‘rear-view mirror’ investing. As commitments are made for the long-term in a fund of up to 12 years and options to trade out are limited compared to relatively liquid investments in the listed markets, LPs spend a lot of time looking at previous investments and at how members of the investment team have performed together over time. With the limited data available for new funds in emerging sectors, LPs may either have to change their approach or risk missing out on the best opportunities.
Boston stakes its claim as centre for clean energy innovation With its established technology scene, thriving private equity scene and a supportive state government, Boston and the state of Massachusetts could yet stake its claim as North America’s hub for clean energy development and investment.
assachusetts-based energy storage company A123 System’s $380m IPO in the midst of a challenging 2009 has been heralded by some as a marker for the clean energy sector’s growing maturity. The company’s valuation was pushed up to $1.9bn on its first day of trading and, although this has settled since, it represented a strong investor appetite in a weak market and a strong vote of confidence for the still-emerging electric vehicle market. Its innovative lithium-ion battery technology was born out of the laboratories of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, developed in part through investment from the university and Boston’s bustling venture capital scene. It is a story that many companies in the state could tell. ‘I think Boston is ground zero for the clean energy space,’ says John Harper, a managing director at Boston firm Global Energy Investors. Formed in 2009, the firm invests in operating renewable energy projects. ‘It is located in the middle of a number of states that are focused on bringing more renewable energy projects to market. It’s the centre of an academic hub where a lot of innovation in technology, as well as business and finance is happening,’ he adds.
Fundraising focus The convenience and advantage of such a high concentration of investors cannot be understated, according to Mitch Tyson, CEO and director of Wilmington, Massachusetts-based company Advanced Electron Beams. Tyson’s company uses a miniaturised version of electron beam technology to replace thermal and chemical processes in manufacturing, vastly reducing the amount of energy used. Investors in a $14.2m Series C round in August 2009 included local investors Flagship Ventures, Atlas Venture, General Catalyst Partners and Rockport Capital Partners. Tyson says, ‘This is a wonderful place to start when raising money. I did go and visit California, but I love having my VCs local. There are so many companies in this area that one can start with and they’re very accessible.’ Numerous state and university initiatives also exist to identify the most promising technology innovations and provide start-up funding. Since 2005, the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge has run the Ignite Clean Energy Competition, inviting early-stage technology companies and engineers to submit business plans, with the most promising receiving $250,000 seed money and runners up receiving $30,000. The winner in 2008 was wind technology company FloDesign Wind Turbine. Since then, the company has raised $34.5m in a Series B round and Lars Andersen, former head of wind turbine manufacturer Vestas, joined as CEO. FloDesign was also one of six recipients in Massachusetts of grant funding from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Administration – Energy. The state took $33.3m of the $151m funding, more than any other state, with other winners including solar photovoltaic company 1366 Technologies, biofuel technology developer Agrivida,
It’s the centre of an academic hub where a lot of innovation in technology, as well as business and finance is happening
Technology hub Boston has the most educated labour pool in the US, with engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs and financiers flowing out of the region’s universities, and often settling nearby. ‘If you look at a five to ten mile radius around MIT, there’s been a phenomenal amount of economic development driven out of there,’ says Rob Pratt, CEO of energy efficiency company EnergyClimate Solutions. The presence of so many high class, technology-focused universities with hothouse programmes such as the University of Massachusetts Renewable Energy Research Laboratory and the MIT Clean Energy Prize means that the level of clean technology innovation is also extremely high. Coupled with one of the biggest private equity hubs outside of New York – including heavyweight firms such as Bain Capital, TA Associates and
Thomas H Lee Partners – and one of the most concentrated pools of venture capital dollars outside of Silicon Valley, Boston functions as an incubator where technologies born in university labs can gain access to seed and growth stage capital, before courting private equity cash or going public.
electric vehicle and energy storage company FastCAP Systems, fuel cell company Sun Catalytix Corp, and waste heat company MC10. MIT also received the largest award given out to a research institution, capturing $6.9m for research on an all-liquid metal grid-scale battery. A number of other Massachusetts companies are maturing to a point where going public is an option, with likely listers including wind farm operator First Wind, green car-sharing service Zipcar and energy management company Ameresco.
While the region has scarce natural resources, it is overwhelmingly dependent on foreign oil and coal-fired plants, which make up 25 per cent of its energy mix. Without the options available to more spacious or sparsely populated states, such as the large desertbased solar installations in California, Massachusetts has excelled at doing more with less, and will soon be spending more per capita on energy efficiency than any other state. Five years ago, it was widely predicted that Massachusetts would start to experience power shortages, but regional transmission organisation ISO New England launched a series of initiatives to meet power needs through energy efficiency and demand response. ‘It has worked fabulously well. We have not had to go out and build new power plants,’ says EnergyClimate Solutions’ Pratt. ‘Suddenly we’ve gone from being a power short region to a region that no one is saying has any difficulty. We’ve come up with something like 700-800MW of demand response availability.’ Another key measure to the growth of energy efficiency was ironing out market imperfections, so that utilities could
We have all the capability here in terms of the concentration of brain power and venture capital
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick
help customers to use less energy without losing revenue. ‘That was a key thing,’ adds Advanced Electron Beams’ Tyson. ‘A utility makes money every time they sell more electricity, but the state changed the regulations so that the utilities could make money if they helped their customers save money, which had been one of the biggest market imperfections out there.’
State backing The energy conservation drive has fuelled a strong proliferation of related companies in Massachusetts, such as energy efficiency company EnerNOC. Formed in 2001, the company achieved a $100m IPO in 2007 and posted revenues of $190m in 2009. Clean energy technology in the state has also found a strong backer in Governor Deval Patrick, who assumed office in January 2007. He succeeded Mitt Romney, an advocate of increased offshore drilling, renowned for an indifferent approach to renewable energy projects. ‘Governor Romney paid no attention to renewable energy and Governor Patrick has made it a priority,’ says Tyson. Governor Patrick has been a strong supporter of the state’s home-grown technology advantages. In a recent speech, he said, ‘We ought to drive toward a new industry in u
Massachusetts to become a global centre around alternative and renewable energy. The technologies and the products and services, I believe if we get that right, the whole world will be our customer. We have all the capability here in terms of the concentration of brain power and venture capital and that whole innovative tradition.’ Since then, he has introduced in a raft of renewable energy stimulus measures, including the Green Communities Act, which mandates utilities to increase the amount of renewable energy in their energy mixes, with a target of one percentage point increase in the amount of sustainable energy per year. Stimulus measures have also been put in place for solar power, next generation biofuels, green jobs and energy efficiency.
Barriers to growth
However, the image of Massachusetts as a progressive, energy-conscious state has been undermined by strong grassroots opposition to the development of any wind or solar projects of a substantial scale. The opposition remains a source of frustration in the region’s clean energy community. Pratt at General Climate Solutions served for over three years as director of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, a $250m fund established in 1997 to stimulate the growth of clean energy. Despite achieving some success, Pratt resigned in frustration at the difficulties in getting larger, utility-scale wind and solar projects approved, due to what hedecries as ‘nimbyism’. To date, there are no wind or solar installations over 5MW in the state. Pratt says, ‘What I found in my three-and-a-half year stint there was that we had a lot of difficulty in terms of getting permitting approval for projects like large wind plants. We were having difficulties with 15-30MW wind projects around the state.’ ‘I reluctantly concluded that energy efficiency was probably going to be a more successful route for us,’ he added, on the decision to leave the trust and found General Climate Solutions. As it stands, there is currently 15MW of wind power and 21MW of solar power installed in Massachusetts. Although solar is forecast to increase to 60-70MW this year, larger scale projects can still find themselves hamstrung with red tape. ‘All the major wind projects in Massachusetts are being litigated by anti-wind activists and others who have aesthetic problems with the projects,’ says Ian Bowles, Massachusetts Secretary for Energy, on the opposition to larger plants. With the state’s protracted appeals process, projects such as renewable energy developer Iberdrola Renewables’ 30MW Hoosac wind project has failed to advance in the five years since it received wetland permits, frustrating both investors and project developers.
New reforms, however, currently being pursued by state regulators would involve the consolidation of appeals, to move them through the courts more quickly. Bowles says, ‘The legislation would essentially say that in those cases where a town has approved that project, then any appeal of the town or state permits would go quickly or in an expedited fashion to the energy facility siting board of the state, and the board’s decision would only be appealable to the state supreme court.’ ‘The legislative reform would consolidate all those appeals, so it would make a big difference,’ he adds.
Cape Wind No project has seen more attempts to block it by than the much-disputed Cape Wind project, which has been fighting red tape for over nine years. The project, being developed by local company Energy Management, could become the first large offshore wind farm in the US. The proposed wind project would involve the installation of 130 turbines off the Nantucket Sound coastline, with the potential to expand Massachusetts’s wind power capacity by up to 420MW. Since his election, Governor Patrick has pushed for approval of the project and a final decision is expected imminently, with optimisim abound that the project may finally get the go-ahead. ‘We are optimistic that it will be a positive decision. I expect construction would begin summer of 2011,’ says Bowles. If Cape Wind is approved, there is an expectation that it will be less difficult in future to build large projects in the state. ‘I think that the Cape Wind decision could end up being a little bit like the healthcare bill, where there’s all this opposition until it gets passed, and then the people who were in opposition to it realise that it’s not as bad as they think,’ adds Global Energy Investors managing director and CEO David Richardson. ‘What needs to happen is that it needs to be part of the cultural landscape.’ Whether the project is approved or not, more disruptive technologies are set to emerge from the state’s labs, fuelled by a growing interest from its thriving private equity and venture capital scene. Tyler says, ‘I think we’ve got a broad range of clean technologies. What I think we benefit from is that all these strong technological bases come together in solving some of these new problems.’ He adds, ‘If you look at the technologies that are here, it’s using science and engineering, and applying them to these new applications. We have a rich source of engineering and science which we can tap to solve some of these new energy problems.’
Boston functions as an incubator where technologies born in university labs can gain access to seed and growth stage capital
IT developers target emergent opportunities in energy efficiency The growth of new energy technologies, combined with an appetite for change within established industries, oﬀers a range of new opportunities for IT innovators, technology developers and investors.
Established industries A vast range of companies are now seeking to capitalise on resource optimisation within established industries through novel applications of IT. Oxford, UK-based Helveta is one of these and has developed supply-chain management software that enables companies supplying food or timber to satisfy increasingly stringent regulations relating to product sourcing. Similarly, Dublin, Ireland-based Treemetrics develops software platforms designed to optimise value recovery within the forestry industry while at the same time reducing waste. From an investor standpoint, companies such as these may represent particularly compelling opportunities. ‘I like the idea of the application of readyto-go technology into existing industries with low-hanging fruit. In other words, the application of good, existing technology into a large industry to change the behaviour of people in a way that results in a very quick ROI for the customer base,’ says Burtis. Dan Steere, CEO of US efficient driving solutions developer Greenroad, points out that there are many such opportunities that focus simply on using IT solutions to improve efficiency, saving both energy and money. ‘Our customers are coming to us primarily because they can save a lot of money, and do so quickly,’ he says. This view is supported by the results of a study conducted in 2009 by McKinsey & Company, which estimates that in the US alone, use of existing energy efficiency technologies could result in an overall energy saving of $1.2tn by 2020. Particularly within a global economy only just beginning to emerge from recession, the prospect of proven, risk-free technology with widespread applications provides an attractive investment opportunity. For Greenroad, which raised $21m of Series D funding in the summer of 2009, even a global recession has not hindered access to
he challenge of creating a clean energy economy has, to date, centred largely on the development of innovative, supply-side hardware. Reﬂecting this strategy, over the past 15 years, the sector has witnessed an inﬂux of scientific and engineering expertise that, until recently, has not been reﬂected on the information technology (IT) side. However, as new energy technologies begin to establish themselves, while mature industries seek to comply with increasingly stringent state and consumer standards, the balance may be shifting. For investors deterred by the expense and longer time horizons of developing alternative energy technologies, ‘green’ IT innovations can also potentially provide more palatable opportunities within the growing cleantech sector. While many IT solutions involve an element of hardware provision, as Pat Burtis, investment manager at private equity firm Amadeus Capital, says, ‘For the most part, these are significantly less capital-intensive, and valuation multiples tend to be much more attractive than traditional cleantech deals’. Opportunities in this area can also offer the appealing prospect of less technology risk and short turnaround times for investors.
I think the application of information technology to the cleantech sector is in its infancy. Companies and developers are just starting to scratch the surface.
investment. ‘We could show strong value to customers in large markets, and the investment community was happy to support that kind of proposition,’ says Steere. ‘In a recessionary market,’ he adds, ‘there simply are not many companies that can show rapid growth and big market opportunities. Therefore the funding environment is difficult not because there is no money, but rather due to lack of appropriate opportunities.’
Barriers to entry Despite the manifest opportunities to save both money and resources through improving efficiency, significant barriers still exist to modernise some established industries. As John O’Farrell, partner at smart grid management software developer Silver Springs Networks, points out, ‘The energy industry is a conservative industry, seeking to supply reliable, constant power. It is vulnerable to consumer backlash when things go wrong and, therefore, carries a certain reluctance to introduce new things that might create risk for the system.’ Industries such as forestry, as well as public authorities, are also notoriously slow to incorporate new innovations, but could be persuaded by the prospect of proven, energysaving technology. For new innovators looking to enter these sectors, the inherent scepticism within potential target markets can present significant challenges. ‘For a new company without an established solution or customer base, it is challenging to penetrate the very conservative utility customer base. Getting a critical first customer is therefore difficult,’ says O’Farrell at Silver Springs. The closed-off approach from many of these industries can also serve to deter potential investors. Companies which are already present in target markets are, therefore, highly prized. Iyad Omari, a partner at European venture capital investor Frog Capital, says, ‘We are ideally looking for someone that is already embedded in the system and has had many years of experience, especially in markets that haven’t been growing very rapidly, but in which growth is beginning or predicted. Then you have someone that is in the lead, is trusted, has a lot of credibility. They are difficult to beat.’ A further risk is that rapidly changing regulations, combined with new innovations and consumer attitudes may limit the lifespan of older industries, and consequently the
These are significantly less capital-intensive and valuation multiples tend to be much more attractive than traditional cleantech deals 12
potential of IT solutions within them. Potential participants must remain aware of the right arena for their technology. Targets for IT innovation need not be limited to large utilities or slow-moving industry groups. Providing consumers with the tools to save resources, as well as money, could prove especially lucrative. ‘Just by giving the consumer visibility, in other words detailed information about their consumption, presented in an attractive way and allowing experimentation of scenarios, can reduce consumption’, says Silver Spring’s O’Farrell. The ubiquity of smart mobile communication devices also offers a useful example of a new avenues for green IT innovators.
Breaking ground Arguably, sectors based around new energy technologies will have the greatest long-term relevance for innovative IT solutions. Many new energy sources are decentralised, intermittent and out-of-sync with user demand. Within new smart grids, appliances must be able to interoperate dynamically within the context and limitations faced by the energy system, through a hugely complex network. All of this necessitates monitoring, management and optimisation on a massive scale. The global investment community appears to be rapidly
It can prove difficult to facilitate growth and development without a degree of industry maturity. Paradoxically, energy industries such as solar and wind, where problems are relatively well-established, can provide greater opportunities for IT innovators than new and potentially faster-growing energy sectors. A further consideration in assessing investment opportunities must also be the expertise required to prosper within the clean energy sector, which can differ widely from other IT areas. ‘I do think that having a team that has a background both in software and the clean technologies that you are trying to support is important. Companies require a real-world perspective on the sector they are trying to support’, says Eric Alderman, CEO of SolarNexus, which develops various software solutions for the solar industry. While the lower capital costs involved in IT product development have resulted in comparatively lower barriers to entry, the resulting proliferation of new start-ups could see a relatively large number of companies targeting a limited selection of market niches. Even where significant industry growth is predicted, this can discourage investors and innovators alike from entering new markets. ‘I think that there is a huge opportunity within work and home settings. Leveraging the smart meters that are being deployed and building home area networks that inform consumers and enable them to manage their electrical use … there is a lot of opportunity there. I considered moving into that sector, but there were just too many companies pursuing that,’ says Alderman. With some sectors already seemingly saturated, standing out from the crowd may prove to be a challenge.
Investor interest waking up to these opportunities. ‘In 2005/2006, we attended around 100 investor meetings without securing any investment in the company,’ says O’Farrell. ‘By contrast, in October 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, we set out to raise $75m and ended-up increasing this to $90m, as we had so much demand. Times have really changed in the industry, although it took a long time to get there.’ Interest from investors appears to be sector-agnostic, preferring proven, applicable technology over any particular area. In January this year, Clean Power Finance raised $6.9m in order to expand its solar sales promotion and management tools. The San Francisco-based company provides integrated software to the solar industry and gained investors including venture capital firms Claremont Creek Ventures and Clean Pacific Ventures. While many renewable energy sectors are experiencing rapid growth, however, IT innovators working within these are by no means guaranteed to succeed. As Burtis warns, ‘people should not get caught up in the hype just because they are cleantech-related. There is no secular trend that says cleantech software is going to be any better than any other software category. At the end of the day, these are still software companies but I do think there are a lot of opportunities.’
Despite a challenging financial environment, recent investor activity in the sector points to strong interest within a range of sub-categories in green IT. In January, Seattle, US-based developer of computer power management software Verdiem raised $4.7m from investors including venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and Catamount Ventures. In February 2010, UK-based Amadeus Capital led a $5.5m Series B financing round for carbonaccounting facilitator AMEE. For many investors, this could signal the next phase of the industry’s growth and move towards widespread adoption. ‘I think the application of information technology to the cleantech sector is in its infancy. Companies and developers are just starting to scratch the surface. I haven’t seen the proliferation of innovations that I would have expected but I think that it’s coming. I think that you’ll see a lot of ex-IT entrepreneurs turning their attentions to the cleantech themes,’ says Burtis. For Omari at Frog Capital, the use of software is going to become even more pervasive and with opportunities set to grow alongside the the range and complexity of devices designed to generate and use energy. Despite a potentially crowded marketplace, with investors and technology developers alike seeking to capitalise on a growing sector, the growth of demand for energy-efficient applications across a range of industries, should mean that quality technology will thrive.
Oil giants redefine roles in new energy future While opinions differ as to the role of large oil companies in the transition to a green energy economy, James Smith of Shell has mapped a route which builds on the company’s existing expertise and offers a pragmatic solution to the challenges facing the global energy industry.
he energy challenge offers a vast opportunity to global industry as it looks to overcome the twin hurdles of rising population and the need for lower carbon emissions, according to James Smith, chairman of energy and petrochemical group Shell UK, as he discusses the hurdles facing the oil major as it looks to develop low carbon technologies, while also managing the expectations of its shareholders for short- and long-term success. The energy giant is active in developing new biofuel technology in a bid to prepare for what it describes as ‘the new energy future’ and Smith is realistic as to the situation facing both Shell and the energy industry as a whole. ‘From our perspective, the energy challenge is in two parts. The whole world is going to need more energy while at the same time reducing its CO2 emissions,’ he says. ‘If you look to the middle of this century, demographic and economic forces are likely to mean that the global economy will be some five times the current size, despite the current economic disruption. We certainly cannot deliver five times the energy, but we might need twice the energy, even after making huge improvements in energy efficiency.’ He adds, ‘That means the carbon intensity of the global economy will have to cut by a factor of ten.’ Put simply, the rate of change must improve, says Smith. ‘While developed economies may be decarbonising, it is only happening at around one or two per cent a year as economies mature. To get to one-tenth the carbon intensity in 40 years’ time means decarbonisation at seven per cent a year – three times the current pace – so there is no question that this is an enormous task.’ Rather than be daunted by the size of the challenge, Smith is keen to focus on the opportunities on offer. ‘We should be daunted by the challenge because the danger of climate change has not gone away. But we should also be invigorated
Thought Leader James Smith, Shell UK by the business and career opportunities created by the new investment and technologies that will be required.’ With $1.7bn spent to date on carbon reduction and renewable energy technologies over the last five years, the company appears to be showing a genuine desire to engage, having also cut its emissions from its facilities to approximately 30 per cent below 1990 levels. The desire for change may also stem from the company’s recent circumstances, following chastening results for the fourth quarter of 2009, which saw its earnings drop to $1.2bn, compared to $4.8bn for the same period the previous year. Despite a recovery in the first quarter of 2010, Shell, and the energy industry as a whole, is facing a challenging future. The company has received some criticism for cuts to its renewables programme, but Smith is convinced that the company’s successful participation in these areas will be founded on Shell’s existing energy expertise, as opposed to a wholesale adoption of new energy technologies, despite external pressures.
The technologies are essentially within our grasp, but what we have to do is to get these technologies off the drawing board, out of the labs and deployed at industrial scale, as soon as possible
New technology While Smith says he is confident that new technologies are being developed to match the energy challenge, there remains some frustration at the pace of this development. ‘The technologies are essentially within our grasp, but what we have to do is to get these technologies off the drawing board, out of the labs and deployed at industrial scale as soon as possible.’ The challenge for technology developers is that none of the
existing energy forms offer an adequate solution. ‘Fossil fuels are too carbon-intensive while the alternatives are expensive or intermittent in various ways. Nuclear has its associated risks and high capital expenditures. If wind is going to have the necessary impact, we need to address the issues around storage as well. We can do this, but we have got to improve each of these technologies so we can get the energy that society needs for the carbon emissions the planet can afford,’ he says. Despite the growth of a range of alternative methods of energy generation, Smith points out that we will remain dependent on fossil fuels, which will continue to have a significant role to play for some time. ‘Fossil fuels account for 80 per cent of the world’s energy requirements at the moment and by 2050 they will probably still be providing 50 to 60 per cent,’ he says. ‘We have built our infrastructure around fossil fuels. It will not be easy to replace. Fossil fuels are going to be around for a long time.’ This realisation puts into stark relief the need for effective and scalable carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. ‘CCS is a crucial technology, especially for coal-fired power and also in the longer term for gas-fired power. If we do not get CCS proven and deployed over the next ten years, then we will not fix climate change.’ Massive scaling up is needed for all new renewable energy options, towards full implementation and utility-scale generation. A manufacturing capacity that numbers 3.1 million barrels of oil and gas each day reflects the scale of Shell’s current carbon-based operations, illustrating how far other alternatives have to go to match existing capacity. The rapid growth of these alternatives is essential, says Smith, as he anticipates an energy landscape that is markedly different from today. ‘Shell’s scenarios show alternative energies becoming around a third or so of primary energy usage by mid-century. For that to be achieved, solar and wind power will have to grow to 40 and 70 times the scale they are today.’ The management of energy is also a major factor with energy efficiency in industrial processes, transport or buildings, set to play a huge role and offering immense growth potential for new technologies. ‘There is significant scope for electric mobility, as well as hybrids and hydrogen in the longer term but a wholesale move from internal combustion engines will not be possible in transport for a number of years. Making cars much lighter and taking advantage of significant improvements that are possible
It is simply not possible for commercial companies to carry that cost on one project alone if the market conditions do not allow the costs to be recovered
James Smith, chairman, Shell UK in the efficiency of current car engines are the things that can make a real difference over the next ten years at least.’ As Smith observes, the phenomenal energy density in fossil fuels will be hard to adequately replace, pointing out that a small glass of diesel has the capacity to move a large truck some distance. Alternative energy technologies still require a great deal more development and research before they can be considered suitable replacements.
Growing role for energy majors Smith is acutely aware of the scale of opportunity facing energy companies, and the significant challenge this also entails in terms of capital costs and the scaling up of technology, which for the most part is still at the laboratory stage. ‘The big challenge is for us to get these technologies out of the lab and scaled up for deployment as soon as possible and for that the economic terms have to be right. Hundreds of millions [of dollars] are being spent over the years, in laboratories on technologies such as clean coal and more sustainable biofuels. However, when it comes to industrial scale, you are looking at hundreds of millions on a single plant,’ he says. ‘It is simply not possible for commercial companies to carry that cost on one project alone if the market conditions do not allow the costs to be recovered.’ Incentives are essential to encourage and support this market growth before companies will be ready to put this much capital to work. One option, says Smith, is to set a carbon price to encourage the development of low-emission alternatives. ‘Putting a price on carbon enables the costs of low carbon technologies to be recovered in the market place. These are the vital economic levers needed for industrial scale deployment.’ u
While Smith advocates the carbon market, he accepts that it offers only a limited solution, though it at least encourages the wider use of energy efficient technology. Additional drivers are needed to further encourage the development and deployment of early stage technologies. ‘There has been some criticism of the carbon market, but we should look at what has been achieved in the carbon market in a relatively short space of time. We must also recognise what the carbon market can and cannot do, however. The carbon market is most effective in the efficient deployment of technologies, once they have become reasonably mature.’ In his opinion, this kind of support is crucial to getting off the starting blocks, enabling participating companies to cover costs. ‘Competition in the market then drives us to minimise these costs but there has to be the prospect of recovering the costs so that we can scale up and deploy.’ With large industrial participants unwilling to get involved in risky and uncertain areas, supportive measures and consistent regulatory frameworks are clearly essential.
Support and stimulus
Smith feels strongly that governments should play a larger role in the development of these technologies, with commercial companies reluctant to take on any undue level of risk or expenditure. ‘Governments can change the terms of trade for energy. If governments do that, it makes it possible for low carbon technologies to be deployed. Then companies like us will get on board and we can look at the best ideas from our own labs, as well as externally.’ He points to the recession-hit UK energy industry, which requires huge amounts of new investment, as the starting point for developing a new energy economy, aided by strong government backing. While some would point to this kind of support as effectively subsiding research and development for commercial companies, Smith displays a strong belief in the need for change but also highlights the importance of taking a pragmatic approach to existing business activities. ‘There is a huge opportunity to build the infrastructure to give us the energy we need, the carbon emissions we can afford, and to give people great jobs and to learn skills that we can deploy internationally. We need to get the message out that the new energy future is a phenomenal opportunity.’ He cites standards and regulations, such as those stipulating the carbon content of vehicle fuels, as potential mechanisms to encourage new technology and encourage innovation, as companies are forced to compete to bring on new products.
‘Another driver is launch aid for early-stage technologies. Take CCS as an example. The government in the UK wants to see four CCS demonstration projects and is introducing a levy to provide funding, he says. ‘In fact we are now seeing governments around the world providing such stimulus to get CCS going because they recognise two things about CCS. Firstly, the great importance of CCS to reducing carbon emissions and secondly, the opportunity to create new businesses that can compete in international markets.’
New directions With broad expertise in the petrochemical and refinery spaces, Shell is forging ahead in areas where it complements its existing skills and where it has comparative advantages. For companies to truly thrive in the sector, according to Smith, they need to specialise, resisting outside pressure to engage with areas beyond their traditional range of expertise. When put on the spot as to whether Shell could be doing more, Smith is adamant as to the relative value of a genuinely focused approach to this area. ‘Companies do best for society and shareholders when they recognise where their skills are and where the advantage is. That is how they make decisions about the technology they should focus on.’ He adds, ‘That does not mean that we have to get involved with every piece of technology that is out there.’ While Smith accepts that a range of technologies will be increasingly important in any future energy scenario, the company’s success in this area is dependent on taking advantage of its existing expertise. The two technology themes that fit Shell’s market needs and skill are the mitigation of carbon in the use of fossil fuels, including CCS, and sustainable biofuels. As Smith says, ‘It’s in the nature of business strategy that you focus on your strengths.’ Both of these themes tap into Shell’s existing technical capabilities and also have huge capacity for growth. The company has focused its attention on sustainable biofuels, which aim to provide the advantage of high energy density fuels, but from non-fossil fuel sources, offering lower carbon emissions. Earlier this year it announced a partnership with technology company Virent Energy Systems in Wisconsin, US, for a 38,000 litre demonstration plant to make biomass directly into petrol, a more efficient end-product than ethanol. The company also a project in Ottawa, Canada, making ethanol from corn stocks and another facility based on saltwater algae in Hawaii. By taking a focused approach, the company hopes to capitalise on its understanding of the energy markets. Despite
Companies do best for society and shareholders when they recognise where their skills are and where the advantage is. That is how they make decisions about the technology they should focus on.
Shareholder pressure While looking to establish its alternative energy operations, Shell must also satisfy shareholder demands and their expectations for.future growth. ‘Shareholders rightly require us to make the business successful, both in the short term and also the long term. In the short term, we need to concentrate on cash flow, providing good products to customers and delivering dividends,’ Smith says. He is confident that shareholders expect good management with an eye to the future, which for an energy company such as Shell, must include low carbon opportunities. The immediate needs of the company may not always correspond to future opportunities, particularly in an area such as energy technology, and Smith is aware of the need for balance. ‘Efficient day-to-day operations and cash generation in the short term are fundamental. But shareholders also require us to deliver long-term value. That means strong investment and it means responding to long-term trends such as the need to tackle climate change. The company sees not only the challenge, but the opportunity.’ As such, the company is pushing hard for new policy and support structures to make it financially viable for companies to develop and invest in new technology. ‘New policies around energy are needed from governments. Companies need to earn the opportunity to be at the table when these policies are discussed. As the saying goes, “If you are not at the table, you could well be on the menu.”’ Smith is convinced that technology development will remain a large part of the company’s operations going forward, with shareholders suitably informed as to the importance of developments in these areas to Shell’s future. While some parts of the portfolio are more carbon-intensive, new, low carbon technologies are becoming increasingly important. ‘That is what leads us to carbon capture and storage, and to more sustainable biofuel,’ he says. ‘I believe our shareholders expect us to understand these trends, to work on the required technologies and so generate value in the long term.’ With this in mind, it is understandable that the most attractive opportunities for the company are the ones that offer the most immediate and practical solutions, while also taking advantage of favourable regulatory frameworks. ‘Tackling the problem soon is better for the environment and so better for economies and so better for business. I aim to think about it in a properly objective way by not wishing for some technology that might never happen. I would be realistic about the importance of fossil fuels and carbon mitigation, and recognise the important role of nuclear [power].’ He adds, ‘I would also want to know what right economic incentives are for getting these technologies developed and deployed. I would be arguing for these economic incentives and if I saw them coming along, I would be looking for good companies within that sphere with the right technologies.’
The point Smith comes back to is the need for technologies to revert to their natural owners, allowing for a greater ease of development, and more opportunities for successful scaling-up and roll-out. The difficulty facing a great deal of the development in technology – often the preserve of venture capitalists and other early stage investors – is that it is unable to bridge the gap up to full-scale generation. He says, ‘From our perspective, the technologies we are going for are those that best reflect our skills. Another factor is the scale of investment to bring new technologies to market. A big demonstration plant might be several hundred million dollars. You can support work in the laboratories for quite a long time, but several hundred million dollars for a demonstration plant is a big request for a venture capitalist.’
Future partnerships Partnerships between investors and technology developers will become the accepted practice, Smith says, as they look to spread the risk and increase the possibility of utility-scale adoption. He adds, ‘Venture capitalists can fund the research but they can’t do it all. The way we are working on biofuels may be a model for this kind of development. We are in partnership with a number of quite small companies that have advanced scientific ideas for more sustainable biofuels. We also have very able scientists on our team and we have access to the kind of capital that will be needed to scale up the technologies that look promising.’ Corporates will play a huge part in bringing on new technologies, which if correctly identified, can complement existing activities. Governments will also need to ensure a definite framework to support and encourage this activity. As Smith says, ‘Big industrial companies with good balance sheets are vital to getting low carbon technologies to industrial scale.’ With a refreshing approach to the realities facing those looking to engage with the new energy challenge, Smith takes a pragmatic view of the practicalities of embracing new technologies. While some may argue that a company of Shell’s size should be doing more to tackle the energy challenge, he offers an approach that is both realistic and viable for the company’s commercial future. Against the backdrop of a challenging economic climate, a strategy that focuses on building on existing expertise provides a sensible and wellthought-out alternative to those that advocate wholesale, yet potentially unworkable changes.
criticisms as to the scaling back of its wider renewables activities, Smith is confident that such a targeted approach will ultimately yield results, while not jeopardising Shell’s existing fossil fuel-based operations.
James Smith was interviewed by Richard Sachar and Benjamin Chambers.
James Smith was appointed chairman of Shell UK in 2004, having joined Shell in 1983. Much of his early career was in upstream oil and gas. He has lived in Malaysia and Brunei, and worked on Shell business in a number of Middle Eastern countries and the US. He was previously head of technology in Shell Chemicals. Smith is president of the Energy Institute and chairs the advisory board of the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership.
Industry profile: Ener1
Energy technology thrives on corporate partnerships Partnerships between specialist technology developers and large manufacturers could hold the key to global growth of emerging energy innovations.
he broad range of applications for energy storage technology is attracting the attention of global industrial and manufacturing groups, and offers growing companies in the sector a variety of opportunities to partner with large multinational groups, according to Rachel Carroll, vice president of corporate communications for energy technology company Ener1. Partnerships such as these could provide the most effective means of developing and fostering new energy-related technology, she says, including the company’s lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells through subsidiaries such as EnerDel. She says, ‘Larger original equipment manufacturers [OEMs] through commercial vehicle launches and utilities, by updating the grid and incorporating batteries as part of the storage solution, are going to play a significant role in the lithium-ion battery market as they have the scale to absorb all of the manufacturing capacity currently being built out in the industry.’ According to Carroll, while larger organisations may have at their disposal extensive manufacturing capabilities and scale, it is the smaller companies that are frequently contributing to technological breakthroughs. ‘In terms of innovating, it is the smaller companies that are going to drive the development of new technology.’ The applications for energy storage technology make it an attractive bet for the future, as opportunities and applications can be found in grid storage, frequency regulation and distributed power, Carroll says. ‘Wind and solar power plants are among the cleanest forms of energy available today, but they are not capable of providing consistent power. Many of the large-scale energy storage technologies currently in use, such as compressed air or pumped hydro, are inefficient or dependent on very specific geographies. Batteries, however, can be integrated into renewable energy facilities anywhere and provide standby power. ‘Frequency regulation is an inherent market for lithium-ion batteries, as mobility and storage constraints lend themselves to the efficient packaging of lithium-ion cells,’ she adds. While established industrial groups, such as auto manufacturers, are more focused on existing production lines, there exists a lot
Industry Profile Rachel Carroll, Ener1 of room for smaller, high-concept companies such as specialised electric car developers, to bring innovative new solutions to the market. For the battery and energy storage market in particular, partnerships between existing industry players and new technology developers will be crucial, Carroll says. ‘This combination of large OEM and start-up, venture capital-backed automakers, is critical to the industry, which is why EnerDel is working to expand our customer portfolio to include a diversified roster of partners, ranging from [carmaker] Think to OEMs like Volvo.’
Funding routes Finding routes to capital for new technology companies is traditionally challenging and often the preserve of focused private investment funds. According to Carroll, while the market downturn had an inevitably negative impact on the sector, the scale of opportunity attached to companies and technologies in this space has seen a recent resurgence in investor interest. She says, ‘Until the credit crisis afflicted the market, huge amounts of venture capital funding were being invested in the clean technology sector. As with most other capital markets, these investments dropped off for about a year and a half, but we are starting to see an uptick of interest in the sector again. The clean technology space, and electric vehicle (EV) industry in particular, remains attractive as an investment option, now that the markets are starting to rebound.’ Listed markets may also be on the rise, with US smart grid company A123 System’s over-subscribed IPO building interest for both private and listed clean energy companies. ‘I think you will continue to see both the public markets and private equity invest more bullishly in clean energy, as we continue to educate investors on the industry in general, and Ener1 in particular,’ Carroll says. Ener1 listed on the NASDAQ in January 2009, having previously been listed on the AMEX and the OTCBB. For Carroll, the listing was the natural step for the company, offering
In terms of innovating, it is the smaller companies that are going to drive the development of new technology
a logical progression in its growth plans. She says, ‘Given the increasing interest in the company from institutional investors and the steady ramp in daily trading volumes, it was considered the most appropriate exchange for the company to take advantage of the next phase of growth.’ While going public offers a welcome funding opportunity, listed companies such as Ener1 continue to face challenging circumstances post-IPO, with increased obligations to shareholders and investors, as well as the accompanied challenges of a company targeting growth through new business areas and overseas markets. Carroll says, ‘Being a public as opposed to a private company bears different corporate governance and legal responsibilities that require not only financial resources, but senior management time and commitment. For an early stage and new technology company like Ener1, it also requires complete transparency at a stage in the growth cycle where complex issues are not easy to communicate and visibility can be limited.’ Alongside Ener1’s growth plans are also clearly defined funding routes, including new stock issues. The company currently has an open market sales agreement with investment banking firm Jefferies & Co, which allows the company to sell up to $60m in stock. Earlier this year, it also announced the option to borrow up to $15m from financial services group Credit Suisse. Interim financing options such as these offer vital support to the company as it seeks further growth, according to Carroll. The company will need in the region of $150m to support its anticipated $600m of capital expenditures. Investment will provide a four times return on equity, she says, despite the challenging market. ‘This will be supplemented by additional grants and loans from the US federal and local government. To this end, the company has already announced the award of a $118m grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) in August 2009, a $69m incentive package from the State of Indiana in January 2010.’ Carroll says. Ener1 is also awaiting news of a larger, low-cost loan from the DOE. The company is one of many to have benefited from a US government eager to encourage the growth of its clean energy industry, reflecting a wider drive to build new industries with environmental and new energy applications.
Eye on Asia Expansion into Asian markets is a key element in Ener1’s growth strategy, says Carroll. A fact not unsurprising, when you consider the vast opportunity the region holds, in terms of both manufacturing capacity and the capital flowing into the area. She says, ‘One of the most interesting emerging markets is China, as both an end market and potential materials supply base. As a huge consumer market in terms of production, China is driving the next generation of batteries in a combination of material sourcing strategies and the cost-down programme alongside those strategies, the software associated with the battery innovation system and innovations in overall packaging solutions. ‘Over the last 20 years, Asia has been on the cutting edge of technology in terms of development. While the lithium-
Rachel Carroll, Ener1 ion battery technology was invented in the US, lithiumion manufacturers in Asia have been the leaders of mass production for decades. ‘Although they are not making large-format automotive batteries, the upscale manufacturing expertise is essential for producing consistent quality and mass producing product efficiently and cheaply,’ she adds. Ener1 has been involved in the Asian marketplace since 2008 when the company purchased Enertech, the third-largest lithium-ion battery maker in South Korea. The decision to purchase the company came from an understanding that the technology could be easily transferred to US manufacturing facilities. The other factor was that the acquisition provided Ener1 with a base in Asia, Carroll says, allowing for greater market penetration in the region. In January of this year, Ener1 also partnered with ITOCHU Corporation, the real estate arm of Japan’s industrial trading house, to develop and produce the advanced battery systems for a residential smart grid energy storage project. The project followed the two companies’ first commercial venture in December 2009 when they collaborated with Japanese auto manufacturer Mazda Motor Corporation on a real-world combination of electric cars, stationary grid storage and renewable energy. With existing partnerships in the Asian marketplace, Ener1 is aiming to develop a secondary market for automotive grade lithium-ion batteries and accelerate the growth of the market of electric powered vehicles in the US, as well as overseas, Carroll says. The potential for energy storage technology offers the company a global marketplace, and with the backing of an established investor base and a supportive government, it appears set to carry out its ambitious expansion plans.
Industry profile: ener1
INVESTOR PROFILE: ASSET MANAGER
Russia’s institutional investors seek exposure to new energy Faced with a struggling economy, Russian institutional investors are increasingly eyeing up opportunities beyond their domestic borders, with clean technology set to benefit.
growing interest in clean energy technology from Russian institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals has led to the recent launch of second venture capital fund for Moscow and London-based fund management group I2BF. The potential for diversiﬁcation in a growing asset class offers a more convincing prospect than many of the country’s more traditional, domestic opportunities, according to the ﬁrm’s founding partner Ilya Golubovich and director of investments David Wasserstein. While many of these investors may not yet have the sophistication of their US and European counterparts, the broad appeal of the sector, coupled with the economic difﬁculties facing the former Soviet states has translated to a growing interest for the burgeoning theme. Golubovich says, ‘Some of the feedback we have heard recently is that investors are actively seeking exposure to the space. Many of them do not have it yet, as they are not sure what the right product is to get them that exposure.’ Is location an important part of your investment strategy? Ilya Golubovich: ‘In the summer of 2007, we moved our ofﬁces from California to London. Our reasoning was that while Silicon Valley might be the centre for venture capital, this is more IT-related. The region is not historically a base for clean technology investments. We felt that opportunities should be sought globally, so we relocated to London, which offered a prime base for raising capital from areas such as Russia and the Middle East, as well as offering access to areas where we actively deploy capital, including North and South America. We also wanted to increase our focus on Europe, because we could see the growth of opportunities across the region generated on the private capital side.’ What type of investment do you target? David Wasserstein: ‘We prefer not to go in at too early a stage because we as venture capitalists may have to support them for a number of years. We look at how we can avoid
Investor Profile: Asset Manager Ilya Golubovich, David Wasserstein, I2BF this kind of situation. We often focus on companies with a business model that is already developed, to some extent. If the technology has applications within the industrial sector, then this is particularly appealing; when the time comes it is much easier to sell.’
If the technology has applications within the industrial sector, then this is particularly appealing; when the time comes it is much easier to sell
David Wasserstein, director of investments, I2BF IG: ‘We seek synergies with large developers in regions such as China, India, Russia and the former Soviet Union, where developers are often keen to adopt new technologies. By taking minority stakes in regional developers, we can grow a pipeline of technology portfolios, create those synergies and ensure faster adoption of technologies. It is a strategy that works for us.’ What is the appetite from institutional investors? IG: ‘In 2006, when we were raising the ﬁrst fund, we had a great deal of interest from limited partners [LPs] in Russia. At the time, besides being an attractive theme, it was a way to diversify investments outside of the region, which were often highly over-valued. Since August 2008 and the great crash in the whole CIS market, many investments have devalued
INVESTOR PROFILE: ASSET MANAGER
What characterises London as an investment base? DW: ‘While the US offers a larger market, it is not as invested as the energy market in Europe. In the US, emerging companies in this sector may only look within their individual state. There is often a very local approach, whereas in Europe there is a real drive to engage with neighbouring territories, as well as China and the US. There is a difference in our underlying portfolio in terms of market strategy. You do have to look at it differently for a European or an American company.’
They see a growing environment for deals in clean technology, which they can access at a relatively early stage in their growth cycle
Ilya Golubovich, partner, I2BF How do venture investors differ in Europe and the US? IG: ‘While there are a growing number of US clean technology-focused funds, many of them do not have a huge level of expertise. They may be spin-offs from IT or banking funds, whereas in Europe, a lot of these funds are genuinely focused, and launched by actual specialists. In terms of expertise, European venture funds have a greater level of expertise and time to identify opportunities. From a European LP perspective, we feel there is a genuine interest in the space. The energy problem is global and as an investor you need to seek companies globally. Fortunately, a lot of funds do not necessarily think that way, and will invest beyond their backyard.’ DW: ‘The industry has been growing recently and the expertise has also been developing for a long time. As the sector progresses over the next few years, you will see enough
track record generated that quality teams will be able to distinguish themselves. There will be winners and there will be losers, as currently there are investors in the space who clearly do not have the expertise they need to be successful. ‘In my experience of UK venture capitalists, I would say that the bulk are more focused on the heavier duty opportunities. With the more micro-level technology, we see a lot of new applications that can save a small amount of money, which are not risky technologies. It does not require a big plant to build, and there are a wealth of opportunities where it can be taken up.’ What is your view of corporates as potential partners? DW: ‘Our strategy is quite different from the majority of venture capital funds in this sector, who tend to view the entrance of a major player into a company as a problem; it can mean the prospects of an exit are delayed. ‘One thing that marks out our ﬁrst portfolio is the number of companies who are now getting major players onto the register, which then strategically makes the portfolio more likely to succeed. In theory, you might give up a little bit of the upside, but you are strengthening the protection and long-term prospects. ‘The concern can be if you get in a major too early. Yes, we have to surrender certain exclusivities for R&D, and they require a strong say on the board, and can behave like the biggest guys in the room, but we are deﬁnitely seeing a trend for vertical integration, particularly in electric vehicles and agribusiness. ‘There is no negative outcome necessarily from having a strategic involvement. Any transaction would be at arm’s length anyway, so if there is someone out there that is going to be paying more, then so be it. If not, the insider gets a good deal and has more comfort around because they have been involved. I would rather have them there early and know what is going on with the company, and truly understand its story.’
a huge amount. For Russian high-net-worth individuals, the appeal is that they can invest money in a fund which can access opportunities and markets that are unfamiliar, diversiﬁed and developing better than home-grown investments. ‘This was not always the case. A few years earlier, there were so many bargain deals to be done in Russia in general, there was no need to take a risk on something you did not necessarily understand. A lot of Russian institutional investors have not yet reached the sophistication of US and European institutional investors. They may not look as keenly for riskadjusted returns, but they see a growing environment for deals in clean technology, which they can access at a relatively early stage in their growth cycle.’
Is there an issue with follow-on ﬁnancing? IG: ‘A problem we have with some of the smaller companies is that if a corporation or a major acquirer expresses an interest in acquiring the company, then the turnaround times for such a deal often require further bridge capital, which we prefer to avoid. ‘We have seen this with some ﬁrms where they get to the point with a company where the technology is good, the company is working, and the next step is bringing it to market. Even with proven technology, if it is too small to sustain itself it will require bridge capital. This usually means another round, where current investment positions are seriously diluted, which we are obviously averse to. The industry does need follow-on funds to scale the technology, and start selling it in a meaningful way.’
investor profile: PRIVATE EQUITY
Generalist private equity drawn to maturing energy technology As renewable energy and environmental industries continue to grow, companies in this sector seeking further capital are increasingly gaining the attention of mid-market private equity firms.
eneralist private equity firms are being increasingly drawn to clean energy and can offer much-needed growth expertise to inexperienced management teams in this sector, according to Dan Hatcher, a partner at UK mid-market private equity firm Gresham Private Equity. According to Hatcher, a number of generalist funds are looking to target clean energy and related opportunities, having recognised the sector’s growth and the gradual emergence of attractive, investable companies. While many businesses in the sector may have specific, technological expertise, they may need assistance to handle future growth plans, which is where private equity can play a part, he says. ‘A lot of the businesses in this sector need assistance to manage their growth and while management may be experts in their field, they may need the skills to manage growth and acquisitions,’ he says. ‘ A lot of the generalist funds have been around for some time and some of the newer sectorspecific funds, while specialist in the industry, may not have the same level of experience of helping management teams to manage the growth of their businesses.’ For a generalist private equity investor focusing on a broad range of sectors, Gresham has gravitated towards clean energy as a thriving growth market. Hatcher says, ‘Clean energy and environmental technology has always been of interest to Gresham due to the growth opportunities available and as we have had experience of successful investments in this area, our appetite has naturally increased.’ The firm targets a range of sectors, though, according to Hatcher, ‘clean energy remains one of our top priorities.’ The dynamic nature of such a fledgling industry also serves to attract high-quality management. He says, ‘What attracts us to this area is that the businesses typically have very strong management teams. It is an exciting place to work and as such we are finding that it attracts high calibre individuals. ‘This is obviously a big factor in making it an attractive opportunity for us, as management is always key when assessing potential investments.’ Hatcher also points to favourable regulatory environments as helping boost the size of the renewable energy market, causing the volume of investment opportunities to increase.
Investor Profile: Private Equity Dan Hatcher, Gresham Private Equity Case for generalists With a typical investment size of between £5m and £50m, Gresham looks at companies which have already established themselves as revenue-making, with proven, commercialised technology.The appeal for companies, says Hatcher, is that while venture investing often involves a selection of firms teaming across early stage rounds, later stage opportunities typically feature only one investor, resulting in less complex ownership structures and clearer management structures. Targeting businesses beyond the early stage also removes a considerable amount of risk in technology-driven sector. Hatcher says, ‘In terms of the size of business, we tend to invest in businesses that are generating at least £1m of operating profit on a run-rate basis. If they are loss-making, we need to be convinced that they have a clear route to profitability. ‘Depending on whether bank funding is also involved, this can also increase the size of the deal, allowing the firm to broaden its scope of potential investment opportunities, and look to companies at a greater stage of maturity.’ The companies are also characterised by specific technical expertise. Hatcher says. ‘Because of the size and type of companies we back – small- and medium-size businesses who tend to operate in a market niche and have developed specific products or services for this market – we find that one of the advantages of this sector is that the smaller companies are at a competitive advantage as the sector can change very quickly, with the ability to react fast to market opportunities giving them an edge over more cumbersome larger businesses.’ Areas of interest include energy management and energy efficiency, familiar themes with considerable appeal for investors, offering proven technology with a wide range of applications. Hatcher says, ‘We like companies with unique products or technologies which help save energy or control energy
What attracts us to this area is that the business typically have very strong management teams
consumption. Alternatively we also look at service companies which provide consulting expertise in these areas.’ He adds, ‘A good example of a company we like is Olaer, which designs and manufactures products that help to improve the performance of hydraulic circuits and water systems. These can be used in a number of energy applications, including manufacturing, wind power, wave farms, solar and nuclear energy. ‘In many ways companies such as this are the easiest to invest in. The business had already successfully developed products for the manufacturing and mobile transport sectors, then adapted these to apply to other markets – in this case wind turbines and wave energy. When there is an existing, proven, marketable product, then that goes a long way to convincing us and provides a fantastic platform from which to grow into new areas.’ Waste management and recycling is another area of focus. He adds, ‘We have had a lot of exposure to companies in the recycling sector and it offers a great example of how a market has grown, due to the green agenda. The size of the market for waste management and recycling is now huge and the growth is likely to continue.’ Another area of interest is microgeneration, where heat or power is produced at source by small-scale generation units such as solar panels, wind turbines and ground source heat pumps. The UK’s recent introduction of its feed-in-tariff will have a positive effect on demand for these technologies, Hatcher says. For investors such as Gresham, a generalist approach offers the best means of targeting mature opportunities in clean energy, Hatcher says. ‘You do not need to be 100 per cent focused on cleantech to make money out of these new energy sectors, you can adapt existing businesses to target them and also benefit from the opportunities available.’ The firm’s investment strategy focuses more on mature businesses, avoiding the start-ups which are traditionally the remit of venture capital investors. In terms of other areas which fall outside of Gresham’s investment strategy in this area, single product businesses are also met with caution. He says, ‘With these kinds of businesses we like to have an existing platform - a single product business that can be bolted onto an existing or larger company is much more attractive than a standalone investment.’
investor profile: private equity
Dan Hatcher, Gresham Private Equity can be an important way of accessing new markets.’ Despite the financial crisis, Hatcher is positive as to the exit opportunities for investments in this area. ‘I am not particularly concerned about the exit environments surrounding these kinds of businesses as I think there will be a lot of people looking to acquire in this sector,’ he says. He does concede, though, that public markets still do not offer the simplest exit route. He says, ‘If you ask a lot of investors in the public market, they would rate the clean energy sector highly and if businesses in this sector were looking to list then I think there would be a lot of interest. As a general rule, this route tends to be more challenging than other forms of exit, not just in the clean energy sector, but across all industries.’
Exit routes Increasingly, technology companies in clean energy both compete with larger corporations, as well as looking to them for partnership and merger opportunities. ‘Some of our portfolio companies already compete directly with large corporates so there is no need to partner, but for some of the smaller businesses, it can be useful to have a strategic partner to help unlock new revenue opportunities quicker.’ He adds, ‘Large corporates are still the most common acquirers of our portfolio businesses and they often seek to have a wide variety of activities, so for them, acquisitions
Gresham Private Equity is a UK-based mid-market private equity investor. The firm targets sectors including consumer, financial services, healthcare/pharmaceuticals, industrial products, support services and energy and environmental and has offices is in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester. Dan Hatcher is a partner with a focus on the industrial products and environmental sectors. He joined Gresham from Ernst & Young in May 2007.
investor profile: PRIVATE EQUITY
Governments must compete for renewable energy investment With favourable investment environments in place, increasing numbers of private equity and buy-out investors are set to target regions with growing clean energy industries.
lobal governments need to convert positive political will to binding regulation for the renewable energy industry to finally flourish, according to Shaun Kingsbury, a partner at private equity firm Hudson Clean Energy Partners. According to Kingsbury, while investment firms such as Hudson, which recently closed a $1bn fund, are willing to take on the necessary risks attached to investing in this area, they are not prepared to take on risks to revenue, and this must be addressed in order to avoid uncertainty and to encourage the necessary growth and investment in emerging renewable energy sectors. Kingsbury believes that national and state governments can make themselves more attractive by ensuring that they offer favourable environments to companies, developers and investors. If they don’t, then the capital will go to the regions actively developing and supporting new energy industries, he says.
What is Hudson’s focus? ‘We see ourselves as investing at the intersection of three areas – financial markets, renewable energy policy and technology. We believe you need to understand all of these areas if you are to be a successful investor in renewables. ‘In terms of geography, we currently focus our attentions on Europe and North America. By taking a specific focus on renewables, we hope to be able to gain a better understanding of the entire investment process specific to renewable energy. We also aim to advise the policy-makers so that they can make good decisions as to how to support renewables and low carbon investing.’
Investor Profile: Private Equity Shaun Kingsbury, Hudson Clean Energy Partners participate at a stage when the technology risk has largely been removed. ‘When companies have matured, technology risk has been retired and there are proven, full-scale commercial plants running. This is where we step in. We invest in hard assets – companies that are deploying technology such as building out wind farms or solar facilities, or are constructing factories for the manufacture of parts for the renewable supply chain. ‘Our typical investment levels go from $50m to $100m, depending on the opportunity. With the drop in technology risk comes the need for a lot more capital, and the construction of real, hard assetbacked businesses. ‘One investment theme covers investment into project developers, whether it be wind, solar biomass or geothermal. The other investment theme is in the supply chain, and our portfolio includes companies that manufacture renewable energyrelated products. In this area we look for companies that have an embedded cost advantage or better technology versus the rest of the market.’
Last year, investment levels dropped in Europe by about 15 per cent, US by 25 per cent and grew by about 27 per cent in China
What is the firm’s investment strategy? ‘If you look at the continuum of investing across clean energy and technology from early stage venture capital up to infrastructure, we lie somewhere in the middle. Whereas many of the investments in what is still an emerging theme take place in early investment rounds, and involve building up management teams and developing technology, we prefer to
Can you explain your geographic focus? ‘We prefer to focus on more established markets geographically, which are currently North America and Europe. As we continue to expand, we are conscious of the fact that energy is a global market, and we are very keen to be a company that encompasses this. We are very much focused on where the activity is. ‘Last year, investment levels dropped in Europe by about 15 per cent, US by 25 per cent and grew by about 27 per cent in China. It is both the biggest investor in carbon-related technology, as well as the world’s biggest polluter. We are obviously looking at how we can make investments into China, as well as some of the other growing markets, like
investor profile: private equity
India. However, at the moment though, our focus is on the established regions of Europe and North America. ‘The biggest advances today are coming in Asia. They are the biggest investor, mainly in infrastructure. Companies such as solar module manufacturer Yingli and their compatriots are producing some of the largest volumes of solar panels today, which are entering into the EU and US markets.’
Do you look to partner with corporates? ‘Corporates can be very interesting business partners in renewable energy. We have established good relationships with some large corporate investors and asset owners. Obviously investment styles are sometimes different between private equity and corporations; they use balance sheets and in-house engineering skills, which typically sit outside private equity businesses. There can be opportunities to collaborate where each side can bring key skills to the company.’ How important is policy to support growth in this industry? ‘We need to translate the strong political will we have seen across the globe to detailed, binding regulation. This is so that when we come to take investment decisions we are clear as to the rules. It is good to see governments meeting and talking about these issues, but unless we can see what these regulations are, it is very hard for us to actually commit the capital. ‘We are prepared to take some risk within our strategy, as part of our role as an investor. We will take development risk, construction risk and operations risk, but we will not take revenue risk. If we do not know what our green power or fuel is worth, or if there is not a clear mandate for what their price will be in the future, then we will not invest in these areas. ‘We need to be given the opportunity to make money. It may seem a little trite, compared to some of the geopolitical challenges associated with climate change, but if we make money and generate returns for our investors, and we concentrate on being returns-driven, more money will flow into the sector, which in turn will help to develop and grow it. Ultimately, this will mean we are deploying more technologies which reduce emissions. ‘We invest internationally and we operate across a wide number of geographies, and if each of the individual countries do not provide us with the right opportunities, the money will not go there. We do not have to invest in any particular country. Individual governments are essentially competing with their neighbours over the capital we have to invest. ‘We speak to a great many pension funds and institutional investors and we are trying to accentuate to them the fact that climate and carbon-related risks pose serious threats to global
We take development risk, construction risk and operations risk, but we will not take revenue risk
Shaun Kingsbury, Hudson Clean Energy Partners economies. Finding solutions for climate change offers a tremendous business opportunity. We are at the beginning of this, not the end. This is akin to a third industrial revolution. It is a tremendous opportunity to refuel the economies of the world.’
How do you add value to your investments? ‘A good example of this is a recent add-on acquisition made by one of our portfolio companies. Calisolar, a solar cell company, merged with 6N Silicon, which extracts silicon for use in manufacturing. By merging both the upstream and the downstream sides, we were able to create an integrated supply chain, which we hope will go towards manufacturing some of the lowest cost produced modules in the world.’
How do you perceive the current exit environment? ‘Clearly last year was very tough. There were liquidity challenges with the banks and there was very little activity in the IPO markets. We do see liquidity improving, however. It is certainly not back to the levels prior to the crash, but we see project finance beginning to pick up and debt become more readily available. All of these are important factors as we look for potential exits for our portfolio. The availability of debt to reduce the cost of capital to build out infrastructure projects is improving, but it is improving slowly. There have been a limited number of IPOs of the past 12 months, so we watch each one with a great degree of interest.’
Hudson Clean Energy Partners is a global private equity firm formed to invest in the clean energy markets. Hudson’s inaugural fund, Hudson Clean Energy Partners, held a final close above its target in October 2009 at $1.024bn. Shaun Kingsbury is a partner and heads the firm’s European office in London. Formerly, he was a founding partner of Pulsar Energy Capital, a boutique investment firm. Prior to that, he advised 3i on a number of renewable energy transaction opportunities in Europe.
investor profile: Venture Capital
Germany gears up industry towards clean energy future Despite potential cuts to its support structure, the German clean energy economy is suitably well-developed to attract investors in search of mature opportunities.
ermany has enjoyed a greater evolution of its clean technology industry due to a concerted push from its government. Despite potential cuts to this support, it remains one Europe’s most attractive regions for investment, according to Jürgen Habichler, founder and managing partner of Mountain Cleantech, a venture capital firm focusing on lateand growth-stage investments in the clean technology sector in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Germany was one of the first countries to introduce a feed-in tariff (FIT), which has been replicated by some 50 companies across the globe. Despite the tabled cuts to the FIT, the country’s clean energy industry remains robust. While acclimatising may be challenging, the move is a natural progression for support mechanisms of this kind, Habichler says, and it is important for the industry to prove itself on its own terms. ‘As they become more dominant and cost-effective, then it is natural that they then remove the crutch of tariffs and subsidies,’ he says. ‘I think this is the way that governments should encourage renewable energy and clean technology – put in place favourable regulation to build it to a sufficient strength, and then carefully and gradually remove this support so it can stand alone.’
in the German-speaking market around clean technology,’ he says. ‘There is a lot going on in terms of supporting young companies in sectors of renewable energy and clean technology, but on the other hand, the German region is known for a lack of growth capital, so companies have a difficult time finding partners to help them build up businesses.’ Habichler adds, ‘There is an opportunity, particularly in the German market, to invest in companies that are supported by government subsidies, but which lack growth capital. This combination is a great opportunity for every venture capitalist, focusing on clean technology in the Germanspeaking region.’ The proposed cut to the FIT may reflect the maturity of the German sector but many businesses have been hit hard, including solar module-maker Sunfilm which recently announced that it was going into administration, blaming tough market conditions and speculation over these potential cuts. With unique challenges to match the scale of opportunity, investors seeking to take advantage of this sector, should not take it lightly, Habichler says. ‘Cleantech investing is very different to other types of technology investment,’ he says, ‘As a clean technology investor, you tend to need a lot of money and a lot of time, especially when engaging in early stage financing of cleantech companies.’ In particular, scaling up much of this technology from pilot stage can take longer than in other technology sectors. However, one advantage of the German market is the relative growth and maturity of companies in this sector. As Habichler observes, ‘there are a lot of late-stage companies.’ He adds, ‘This is advantageous for venture capital investors, because these companies have revenues, they are often profitable, they have products in the market, and you may only need between two and four years to realise an investment exit.’
If you really want to identify the best deals in the clean technology sector, then you really should not do anything else. You must specialise.
Specialist investing With Germany boasting an established clean energy and technology industry, the decision to focus on the sector was reasonably straightforward, Habichler says. Having previously established the cleantech investment practice at venture capital firm Atlas Ventures, he also recognised the need for a specific sector focus in order to take full advantage of the investment opportunities. He says, ‘While at Atlas, I realised that if you want to invest in this area properly and be successful, you need to focus entirely on this sector, and not on any other areas such as new media or life sciences.’ Habichler aims to take advantage of a promising investment theme, as well as a potential gap in the market. ‘I realised that there was a unique opportunity, especially
Investor Profile: Venture Capital Jürgen Habichler, Mountain Cleantech
investor profile: Venture Capital
Favourable frameworks Favourable legislation at both national and regional levels has gone hand-in-hand with growth many areas within clean energy technology, particularly energy generation such as wind and solar. For Habichler, regulation is vital to ensure the continued growth of what remains a growing set of industries. ‘The intervention of governments on state and national level is necessary in terms of subsidies to stimulate these emerging industries. It is one of the most important ingredients to building up a new sector in this way, to encourage capital, to encourage growth and to ensure a well-structured industry is created.’ However, difficulties can remain if regulatory environments are unclear. ‘What can be a challenging is looking at
Jürgen Habichler, CEO, Mountain Cleantech companies that operate across a number of different markets and regions, and this can be difficult if regulatory environments are not consistent.’ From an investor’s perspective, Habichler remains upbeat as to the prospects for private equity activity in clean energy and related-technology, with limited partners paying a growing interest to funds targeting this area. ‘There is a real appetite and interest from institutional investors, which is growing all the time,’ he says, ‘What seems to be the appeal of this area are the powerful underlying long-term growth drivers. The emergence of growing numbers of fund managers is also helping to convince these investors that they should be looking at this area, with a host of options and means of access.’ The obvious concerns for any growth sector is whether it could be heading for a bubble but Habichler is confident that any potential for this to happen will be countered by the considerable challenges the sector faces to further establish itself. He says, ‘There is a concern that maybe some of these new entrants may not all be suitably experienced, but the challenging economic climate should ensure that only the best succeed.’ The firm is keenly watching the state of both listed and private market as the year progresses, while also eyeing-up potential M&A opportunities. The recent inactivity in the IPO market, however, has meant that exit opportunities are limited. Habichler says, ‘Public exit is one of the interesting options for our portfolio companies. Obviously the markets have been poor since the financial crisis, and the fact we were able to list one of our portfolio companies in 2009, Pure Klimatusch, was pleasing.’ He adds, ‘Numerous strategic acquirers have cash available and are looking at companies in clean technology more and more. 2010 promises to be an interesting year.’
With a focus on growth capital investments, Mountain Cleantech defines its opportunities as companies with strong growth prospects and defined exit scenarios. Germany’s established clean energy industry fits well with this strategy. Habichler says, ‘I feel this is the best approach for a venture capital fund of our size. We have to be very selective, as a smaller-sized fund but this encourages us to be rigorous in our approach to selecting companies. With the rise in investible opportunities, it is a natural progression for venture capital firms.’ Habichler is adamant that investors, at least from a venture capital perspective, need to specialise to take full advantage of this sector. ‘Cleantech is a wide-encompassing investment theme spanning a large number of interrelated sub-sectors such as renewable energy production, storage and efficiency, as well as carbon, water and electric vehicles,’ he says. The various sub-sectors often have very different economic structures and turnaround times, according to Habichler. ‘If you try to apply the same investment methods from one technology to another, it just does not work,’ he says. ‘If you really want to identify the best deals in the clean technology sector, then you really should not do anything else. You must specialise.’ According to Habichler it is difficult to select which of these sub-sectors holds the most appeal, as the evolution of the industry means that companies and valuations are in a constant state of flux. ‘A few years ago we strongly believed that photovoltaic solar was a good proposition. However, if you had invested a year ago, you would have probably ended up with a company that was going out of business,’ he says, ‘These markets are still quite immature and as such are still settling.’ While solar and specifically photovoltaics still hold considerable appeal for the firm, overvalauation still remains an issue, despite the downturn, meaning investors at every stage still need to work hard to find the best deals. While many of these sectors fluctuate to some extent and are still quite sensitive to broader factors such as regulation, the importance of a deep and genuine understanding of the sector is that much more important, says Habichler. ‘As the maturity of all these sub-sectors grows and the companies develop, so will investors be able to achieve increasingly good returns in the long term,’ he adds.
Switzerland-based Cleantech Invest is a listed venture capital fund focusing on clean technology in the German-speaking region. Founded in 2007, Mountain Cleantech is the investment advisor of Cleantech Invest.
SOLAR: Deal news
Enphase Energy closes $40m financing round Fast-growing US solar microinverter systems developer Enphase Energy has secured $40m in funding, with Bay Partners leading the equity financing. Venture debt financier Horizon Technology Finance, NASDAQ-listed business bank Bridge Bank joined existing investors Third Point Ventures, RockPort Capital Partners, Madrone Capital Partners and Applied Ventures in the financing round. ‘Enphase has captured significant market share in the inverter space in an extraordinarily short time frame. This financing will be used to fund our expansion plans and further strengthen our balance sheet,’ said Sanjeev Kumar, CFO of Enphase Energy. Greg Clark, managing director of one of the new investors, Horizon Technology Finance, added, ‘This new round of financing will enable Enphase to continue this phenomenal growth.’ Marketing the industry’s only commercially available microinverter system, which incorporates web-based monitoring, Enphase Energy has sold more than a quarter microinverters since its launch, the company said. Based in Northern California, the company was founded by solar industry veterans in 2006.
Integrated Photovoltaics raises $8.5m in Series A funding
Integrated Photovoltaics aim develop third generation photovoltaic products
Integrated Photovoltaics, a stealth-mode developer of photovoltaic products, has raised $8.5m in Series A funding in a round led by US venture capital firm Peninsula Ventures. Global clean technology fund management group I2BF and seed backers Alloy Ventures and Labrador Ventures also joined the round. Still in stealth mode, privately held California-based Integrated Photovoltaics said the new funds will be used to continue development of its third generation photovoltaic products, which are designed to reduce the cost of generating electricity. With this new round of funding, Sam Lee from Peninsula Ventures and David Waserstein from I2BF will join
Dan Rubin from Alloy Ventures on the company’s board. ‘Integrated Photovoltaics’ technology will have significant implications for the market, and the company’s capitalefficient approach will allow them to address a very sizeable market opportunity with venture capital-levels of capital,’ said Peninsula’s Lee. Alloy Ventures and 12BF have been busy investing in clean technology in 2010. Established in 2005, international renewable energy and clean technology fund management group I2BF, which has more than $95m in assets under management, recently participated in a $38m funding round for wind turbine manufacturer Nordic Windpower.
Suniva receives $141m DOE loan to construct US manufacturing plant US silicon solar cell and module manufacturer Suniva has been selected for the US Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee programme under the DOE’s Innovative Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Advanced Transmission and Distribution Technologies Solicitation initiative. Upon the completion of the DOE’s due diligence and subject to the negotiation of the terms of a loan for approximately $141m, Suniva said it plans to start the construction of a new manufacturing plant in Saginaw County, Michigan, US. ‘The DOE’s acceptance of Suniva into the loan guarantee programme is very timely and supports the shared vision of President Obama and Suniva in significantly increasing the level of exports over the next five years,’ said John Baumstark, chairman and CEO of Suniva. ‘The loan guarantee is essential to our efforts in building a second manufacturing plant in Michigan as quickly as possible, creating new cleantech jobs for Americans and supporting the economy by substantially
increasing the number of solar cells and modules available for export.’ The loan guarantee will enable Suniva to more than triple exports over the next five years, the company said, which exported more than 90 per cent of its products to Asia and Europe last year. ‘Suniva exemplifies the innovative force behind the development of America’s leading-edge green technology, and it exports to the global marketplace,’ said Ex-Im Bank’s chairman and president Fred P Hochberg. ‘Suniva exports products, not jobs. America will lead in exports when its businesses deliver value and innovation, which will also drive job growth.’ Suniva manufactures monocrystalline silicon solar cells and high power solar modules. The company recently commissioned its largest solar power installation from Titan Energy Systems to be built in Karnataka, India.
SunPower acquires SunRay for $277m
Pacific Blue Energy acquires land for new solar facility
NASDAQ-listed solar technology manufacturer SunPower has completed its acquisition of SunRay Renewable Energy, a Malta-based developer of European solar energy projects for around $277m. As a result of the deal, which included between $235m and $263m in cash and between $14m and $42m in a letter of credit and promissory notes, SunPower said it has expanded its project pipeline to include more than 1,200MW of solar photovoltaic projects in various stages of development in Italy, France, Israel, Spain, the UK and Greece. ‘With this acquisition complete, SunPower is accelerating growth in the Italian market, and pursuing new opportunities in other parts of Europe and Middle East,’ said Howard Wenger, president of SunPower’s utilities and power plants business group. ‘The acquisition of SunRay provides us with strong visibility in the second half of 2010 and in 2011, and is consistent with our long-term company strategy to develop a strong brand and complementary channels to market.’ Last year, SunRay received a $200m equity commitment from private equity firm Denham Capital Management. Founded in 1985, SunPower has headquarters in San Jose, California and offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. The company recently signed a new three-year, $350m credit facility.
Pacific Blue Energy, a publicly-traded developer of renewable energy, has acquired all the membership interests in Ship Ahoy, an Arizona company that owns approximately 154.3 acres of land located 30 miles east of Flagstaff, Arizona, in Coconino County. George M Buckingham, the previous owner of Ship Ahoy, and Pacific Blue have begun the process of responding to a request for proposal to develop a solar energy project, referred to as the Sunshine Solar Project, on the property. Buckingham will continue to assist Pacific Blue in the development and submissions of the proposal for the project to the public utility service provider known as Arizona Public Service, said the company. ‘This acquisition is a key step in our evolution as a leading provider of renewable energy for consumers in Arizona and beyond,’ said Joel Franklin, the CEO of Pacific Blue Energy.
Trina Solar Energy supplies modules for Thai solar plant Changzhou Trina Solar Energy, a subsidiary of NYSE-listed solar manufacturer Trina Solar, has established a strategic partnership with system integrator Grenzone, to supply its modules for photovoltaic projects in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Grenzone was awarded the contract to design and build a 2.2MW turnkey photovoltaic power plant in the northeast region of Thailand, with initial shipments in March 2010. Trina said it is expected to supply approximately 9,600 photovoltaic modules to Grenzone for the project, which is expected to go online in August 2010. ‘We are excited to team up with Grenzone, a well established photovoltaic system integrator in southeast Asia, with a proven track record and wide expertise in renewable energy and energy efficient solutions,’ said Ku Jun Heong, director of sales and marketing, Asia Pacific, Trina Solar. ‘This strategic relationship
Jifan Gao, CEO, Trina Solar
will further enhance Trina Solar’s brand recognition in Asia as well as promoting the company’s high quality solar products in emerging growth markets like Singapore and Thailand.’ Trina Solar, headed by CEO Jifan Gao, recently closed its followon public offering of 7.9 million American depositary shares, which the company said it would use to expand its research and development centre and for downstream projects and general corporate purposes.
SOLAR: DEAL news
Quercus invests in Entech Solar US solar developer Entech Solar has sold 150 shares of its Series G preferred stock to technology investor the Quercus Trust, for $1.5m in cash. As part of the transaction, the company also issued a warrant to purchase 11,911,765 shares of its common stock with an exercise price of $0.17 per share to Quercus. Entech Solar develops renewable energy technologies and sustainable daylighting solutions for the commercial, industrial and utility markets. The company also designs concentrating solar modules that provide electricity and thermal energy as part of its ThermaVolt product line and electricity only as part of the SolarVolt product line. Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, Quercus recently participated in a $500,000 seed financing for aeroponic technology company Aero Farm Systems, alongside New York-based venture capital firm 21Ventures.
SOLAR: Deal news
US solar cell developer AQT secures $10m venture funding soned team of executives and a core Applied Quantum Technology syndicate of established partners,’ (AQT), a Californian said Michael Bartholomeusz, CEO, developer of low-cost copperAQT. ‘This latest investment is a indium-gallium-diselenide testament to the enormous progress (CIGS) thin-film solar we have made in the last 12 months cells, has secured $10m in across our company and will fuel venture funding. substantial milestones over the next The recent closing of the four quarters.’ funding round raises the total AQT’s CIGS technology amount of capital that AQT allows for continuous in-line has attracted to date to apmanufacturing. The company proximately $15m. AQT wil build its first manufacturing line in Silicon Valley, California said its technologies leverage the The latest investment, manufacturing technologies and which comes from the origiplatforms that have been field-proven in initial 15MW production line at its new nal investor syndicate and additional the hard disk drive industry. Silicon Valley development and manuundisclosed investors, will be used to AQT and NASDAQ-listed manufacfacturing location to fulfill current cusbuild AQT’s first manufacturing line, in turing equipment provider Intevac tomer orders due by year-end followed Silicon Valley, US, and to expand the have formed a business agreement by further growth plans thereafter. company in anticipation of full-scale ‘We have unique CIGS process technol- under which Intevac will supply AQT production over the next year. with equipment. In April, AQT said it will build out an ogy, a dedicated group of investors, a sea-
Chromasun raises $3m in first funding round Californian solar energy system manufacturer Chromasun has closed its first institutional funding round, raising $3m. The investment round was led by Danish investor VKR Holding and co-investors included GoGreen Capital, as well as two unnamed US investors. Chromasun said the investment will be used to fund the continued growth of the company and to introduce its MCT solar collector for solar cooling applications to global markets. Chromasun CEO Peter Le Lievre said, ‘This is a world-class investment team that will provide Chromasun and its MCT prod-
uct with significant support for our worldwide expansion plans.’ Jens Ove Albertsen, VKR Holding, added, ‘Solar driven air-conditioning systems can dramatically reduce peak grid demand and significantly improve building environmental performance. Because of our investments in solar thermal, VKR has good insight into what many solar companies are doing to address cooling. It is with this perspective that I believe Chromasun is the company to watch in this space.’ Chromasun currently has showcase projects under development in Australia, US, Europe and the Middle East.
GCL Solar orders 150MW worth of Satcon inverters NASDAQ-listed renewable energy company Satcon Technology has received a 150MW order of its 500KW solar photovoltaic inverters from GCL Solar, one of China’s largest utility solar power plant developer and supplier. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Satcon said the deal marks the second phase of its partnership with GCL that was established in 2009. Under the agreement, the comapny will begin
supplying the inverters in April, with all deliveries scheduled for completion in October of 2010. Satcon said its 500KW units will be used on multiple utility-scale projects across China and will build on the collaboration between the two companies, which includes the 3MW and 20MW power plants completed in December 2009, China’s largest rooftop and ground mounted installations, respectively.
‘The foundation of China’s large scale photovoltaic industry has been firmly established over the past year and the market is now entering its next phase in both project sophistication and scale,’ said Dr Gu Huamin, general manager of GCL Solar. ‘As we move forward the balance between technology innovation, system stability, and overall system efficiency becomes paramount to the successful integration of solar power onto China’s national grid.’
SOLAR: Deal news
LadyBug Resource Group has acquired 37 per cent of alternative energy company New Solar Electricity Corporation. Acquiring a minority interest in New Solar Electricity Corporation is the beginning of Ladybug’s push to acquire and license solar, wind and alternative fuel systems, companies and patents, according to the company. New Solar’s proprietary breakthrough technology is estimated to cut the 30-year total cost of concentrator by 80 per cent to 90 per cent and reduce total concentrating solar investment cost by around 50 per cent, according to the company, giving New Solar immediate growth opportunities in funded and future projects to license their cost-saving technology, the company said. LadyBug said it believes the synergies between the contacts, experience and market expertise both companies bring to the partnership will increase shareholder value and allow for increased market reach, sales and license opportunities. The company said that it anticipates continued expansion in the global solar market, which is predicted to reach up to around $70bn by 2014, with increased industry and government focused efforts to fast-track the development of renewable energy. US-based New Solar Electricity Corporation is an alternative energy company offering low cost solar technology, founded by Dr Jason Yu, a patent developer and scientist who formerly conducted research and development at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne Laboratory.
Meyer Burger receives €20m order in latest of Chinese solar wins Meyer Burger has won another Chinese order for its wire saws used in the production of solar power installations in the latest in a series of Asian contracts by the Switzerlandbased manufacturer. The company’s shares climbed on the news that it had won the CHF30m (€20.9m) order from Hong Kong listed Shanghai Comtec Solar Technology as part of its planned expansion of production capacity to 400MW in 2010. The delivery is expected to be ongoing until the end of the year. Although the company’s 2009 profit dipped slightly on the previous year by CHF13.7m (€9.95m) to CHF170.1m (€118.6m), a remarkable increase in demand towards the end of the year held up the company’s prospects. In March, Meyer said it would continue to target China as a key market for its products having won a
US CPV developer Amonix secures $129m investment Amonix, a US-based designer and manufacturer of concentrated photovoltaic solar power systems, has raised $129.4m in a Series B financing round led by US venture capital giant Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). Other participants in the round include venture capital investors Adams Street Partners, Angeleno Group, PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund, Vedanta Capital, New Silk Route, The Westly Group and existing investor MissionPoint Capital Partners. The company said it will use the proceeds to accelerate deployments of its concentrating photovoltaic systems and expand manufacturing capacity. ‘Amonix concentrated photovoltaic systems have emerged as the lowest cost solar technology for sunny and dry environments,’ said Ben Kortlang, partner at KPCB. ’ California-based Amonix previously raised $25m in Series A funding from investors Goldman Sachs Group and MissionPoint Capital, and also received $15.6m in grant funding through the Department of Energy Solar America Initiative (SAI).
LadyBug takes stake in New Solar Electricity
China Development Bank agrees to loan Suntech and Trina $11bn
CHF250m (€172m) contract from an unnamed Asian-based customer. Werner Bucholz, spokersperson for Switzerland-based Meyer Burger, said, ‘China is the most interesting market and the most profitable market from a net sales perspective for us because we have the majority of the big contracts in the country.’ Comtec Solar is a pure-play crystalline solar ingot and wafer manufacturer based in Shanghai.
China Development Bank has signed framework agreements to lend RMB80bn ($11.72bn) worth of medium-term loans to Chinese solar companies Suntech Power Holdings and Trina Solar, according to reports.The bank has agreed to loan Suntech up to around RMB50bn ($7.33bn) in a non-binding agreement over a fiveyear period, according to the report. Trina Solar has secured a RMB30bn ($4.4bn) loan from the bank until 2015. Suntech recently signed a deal to supply solar panels for Taiwan’s biggest solar plant. The 4.7MW solar facility in Young’an, Kaohsiung will nearly double the island’s current installed solar capacity of 5MW.
SOLAR: DEAL news
LDK Solar to supply modules to Phoenix Solar
IDEX buys semiconductor sealing specialist Seals
NYSE-listed multicrystalline solar wafer manufacturer LDK Solar has signed a contract to supply solar modules to Germany-based Phoenix Solar. As part of the deal, LDK Solar will deliver approximately 20MW of solar modules during the second calendar quarter of 2010. ‘We are proud to partner with Phoenix Solar, an international leader in system integration, as well as specialist for large-scale photovoltaic plants,’ said Xiaofeng Peng, chairman and CEO of LDK Solar. ‘Our photovoltaic modules are meeting the highest technical requirements and are well suited for a wide range of applications from residential to large-scale power plants. We hope to expand our relationship with Phoenix Solar and partner on future projects.’
NYSE-listed specialised fluid and metering company IDEX has acquired the polymer engineering and perlast divisions of Seals, which provides proprietary specialised sealing solutions for the solar and semiconductor industry, for a cash consideration of around £35m. Seals said it will operate within IDEX’s health and science technologies segment. Larry Kingsley, chairman and CEO of IDEX, said, ‘We are extremely pleased with Seals’ decision to become part of IDEX. With their specialty formulations and unique moulding capability, Seals offers highly engineered solutions to several of our target markets. Their expertise in these markets enables the continued expansion of our core hermetic seal technology capabilities. Not only does Seals extend our offering with existing original equipment manufacturers in the life sciences markets, they provide significant access to new opportunities in clean technology, food and pharmaceutical research and processing.’ Peter Cloney, managing director of Seals, added, ‘Today’s announcement marks the start of a new growth phase for our business.’ Based in Blackburn, UK, Seals has annual revenues of approximately £21m.
PV installation set to grow in 2010 A surge of sales in Germany and lower module prices will lead to photovoltaic installations almost doubling in 2010, analysts predict. Analysts from market research company iSuppli said global solar installations will rise to 13.6GW in 2010, up by 92.9 per cent from 7GW in 2009. It attributed the rise to robust market conditions in the second and fourth quarters, which will compensate for lower sales in the first and third. Henning Wicht, director and principal analyst for PV at iSuppli, said, ‘The first quarter of 2010 was negatively affected by winter conditions, likely causing a decline in installations compared to the fourth quarter of 2009. However, the second quarter is expected to be a blockbuster for the global PV industry.’ He said the reduction to German feed-in tariffs (FITs), expected in July, has produced a rush of project developers trying to finish schemes before the financials become less attractive.
Etrion to acquire Deutsche Bank’s Italian solar assets
The operating assets consist of 6MW of ground-based solar photovoltaic plants
Canadian solar company Etrion has signed a purchase agreement to acquire a portfolio of Deutsche Bank solar assets in Italy for €10.3m, plus a contingent deferred payment of €1.5m. The Deutsche Bank assets include 6MW of operating assets and 10MW of permitted projects ready for construction in the Puglia region, and a pipeline of more than 150MW in various stages of permitting. The operating assets consist of 6MW of ground-based solar photovoltaic plants, producing more than 10,250kWh of electricity and approxi-
mately €4m of EBITDA per year on average. The plants benefit from the 2009 feed-in-tariff of €0.353 per KWh, plus a spot rate of approximately €0.08 per KWh. The Italian feed-in-tariff is a premium purchase price for renewable electricity that is guaranteed by the Italian government for 20 years. The operating plants also benefit from an existing facility agreement with Société Générale and Dexia, for up to €45m available on the basis of 90:10 debt-to-equity, of which €28m have been drawn to date.
SOLAR: company news
Siemens Energy to establish Israeli solar component facility
Avi Brenmiller, CEO, Siemens Concentrated Solar Power
recent Royal Decree,’ said Brenmiller. ‘Siemens is in a position to offer highly efficient solar receiver and system solutions, such as solar fields or power blocks, as well as complete plant solutions for parabolic trough power plants. Our objective is to address the project-specific needs of our customers in the most flexible way.’ Until 2020, Siemens predicts that the market for solar thermal power plants
will attain a volume of over €20bn and the primary focal growth regions will be North Africa, South Africa, the Middle East, Australia, India, Spain and the US. More than 150,000 of Siemens’ coated UVACs, which are designed for high solar absorption and employed in most parabolic trough power plants, have been installed in solar energy facilities in Spain and the US to date, the company said.
The energy arm of electrics giant Siemens, Siemens Energy, is expanding its international breadth by investing in a new solar thermal components facility in Israel due to come online in 2012, while accruing new Spanish solar receiver orders. ‘This expansion of production capacity in Israel will enable us to meet the increasing demand for solar thermal components,’ said Avi Brenmiller, CEO of Siemens Concentrated Solar Power. Siemens Energy recently received an order to supply Universal Vacuum Air Collector (UVAC) solar receivers to a consortium consisting of Abantia and Comsa Emte. This order is for a solar thermal power plant under development in Les Borges Blanques in the province of Lleida in north-eastern Spain that is due to become operational in 2012. ‘This is the first major solar power component purchase in Spain subsequent to the release of the most
Enfinity expands Indian operations Progress Energy with conglomerate Videocon Group tightens belt after Global renewable energy developer Enfinity has signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Indian conglomerate Videocon Group, which is active in the power, retail and consumer electronics sector, to develop large-scale Indian projects in solar energy. Enfinity is also set to open a new pan-Indian office in Mumbai to further support the company’s growth strategy and co-ordinate multiple offices it is setting up in India. By the end of 2010, Enfinity said it expects to employ up to 100 people in several Indian offices. Via the equally split joint-venture between Belgium-based Enfinity and Indian-based Videocon Group, both companies will develop large scale projects in solar energy. The agreement combines Enfinity’s expertise in developing and financing renewable energy projects with Videocon’s strong presence in India, the company said, which already has activities in India. At the end of 2009, the company announced an agreement with photovoltaic module manufacturer Titan Energy Systems to develop, finance and construct 1GW of solar installations on 3,000 acres of land in Andhra Pradesh over the next five years. Saurabh P Dhoot, director of Videocon Group, said, ‘Today marks a small step by us for a giant leap by India towards an environmentally responsible and sustainable answer to its ever growing energy requirements.’ Dhoot added that he hopes the joint venture will further the Indian government’s vision of clean energy sustainability.
NYSE-listed US energy company Progress Energy delivered a ten per cent total return to shareholders in 2009 and achieved its ongoing earnings per share target for the fourth year in a row, said company CEO Bill Johnson in a recent statement. ‘We believe strongly in the long-term growth prospects of the communities we serve. So, even as we are making the tough choices to manage today’s realities, we are carefully laying the groundwork for the higher growth and better future we see coming,’ said Progress Energy CEO Johnson. ‘We are being both steady in the present storm and forward-looking – controlling what we can control, aggressively managing costs and preparing for the future.’
SOLAR: COMPANy news
Solar market to grow by 40%, says industry body
JA Solar’s global guidance follows ‘robust demand’
The global solar market is expected to grow by at least 40 per cent in 2010, having added an extra 6.4GW of capacity in 2009 pushing worldwide output to more than 20GW, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) said. It said 2009 was the most important annual capacity increase ever and was particularly impressive in light of the difficult financial and economic circumstances. Cumulative installed capacity is expected to grow by at least 40 per cent over the course of the year with Germany remaining as the world’s largest single market. It said the global photovoltaic (PV) market could reach between 8.2GW and 12.7GW of new installations if growth and policy continue to progress at a moderate rate. If a policy-driven scenario was to take hold, the global annual market could reach up to 30GW by 2014. During 2009, the leading solar market was Germany, followed by Italy, Japan and the US. ‘In the mid-term, Italy appears as one of the most promising markets with an additional capacity of some 700MW already in 2009,’ EPIA said. Alongside Italy, the Czech Republic showed an important growth during the year with 411MW installed but, due to overly generous support schemes, EPIA said it predicts this market will shrink in 2011 after holding firm for the rest of 2010. Adel El Gammal, secretary general of EPIA, said, ‘This underlines the imperative need for support mechanisms to be designed in a way to ensure a long term, predictable and sustainable development of the market and avoid instability and discontinuity in market evolution.’ Strong political support for solar energy meant that Belgium made it into the top ten markets in 2009 with 292MW installed but a change in the financial support for the sector means that this is expected to slow in 2010.
Based on current customer orders and product deliveries, NASDAQ-listed solar manufacturer JA Solar Holdings projects its first quarter shipments will exceed 265MW in its revised guidance for the first quarter, based on recent ‘robust demand’ from global customers. The new guidance is above the high-end of its previous guidance of 215MW to 225MW given on 11 Feb 2010, the company said. ‘During the first quarter, we saw robust demand from existing and new customers,’ said Dr Peng Fang, CEO of JA Solar. ‘By streamlining the company’s existing solar cell manufacturing facility, JA Solar is able to achieve higher than expected production to meet strong customer orders. We also won several new European customers during the quarter, which further diversified our customer base and provides better visibility for the full year. ‘We are making progress in winning new customers globally, and are seeing strong demand for our high quality solar products from major solar markets worldwide, including Germany, China, US, Italy, South Korea, Spain, France, the Czech Republic and India. We are also seeing growth in emerging solar markets, such as Australia, Canada, and Japan,’ he added. The company said it expects to report its first quarter results in mid-May and plans to provide guidance for the second quarter of 2010 and updated full-year 2010 guidance at that time.
Sunfilm files for bankruptcy ahead of incentive changes German solar module maker Sunfilm has filed for bankruptcy citing market conditions and upcoming changes to domestic feed-in tariffs as the reasons behind the insolvency. The company said it filed for insolvency at the district court in Dresden and 300 employees, which have been working on Feeling blue: domestic feed-in tariffs have reduced hours since the end of not helped Sunfilm’s fortunes 2009, will be impacted. Wolfgang Heinze, chairman of the ‘The current market condiexecutive board of Sunfilm, said that tions and feed-in tariff discussions in by filing for insolvency, it is aiming for Germany hit Sunfilm at an already a strategic realignment of the company difficult stage of its market entry. with a new investor. The shareholders have stopped their ‘Our high-performance products, the financial support,’ the company said in state-of-the-art production lines in coma statement. bination with an above-average market A reduced incentive for solar energy and growth potential of our technology being fed into the German grid is and the competence of our employees expected to be implemented on 1 July. form a very solid basis for this.’ Sunfilm said the executive board Heinze said he regrets the current was continuing in discussions with development and will aim to lead the banks about securing the future of company into a successful future. the company.
Horizon launches strategic Ontario energy alliance
Premier Power partners with REgeneration
Canadian turnkey energy company Alliance of businesses in Ontario’s sunbelt aim to build its solar Horizon Energy Solutions has formed a industry strategic alliance of solar energy generating businesses in the region dubbed Ontario’s solar sunbelt, designed to help facilitate energy projects under the city’s Green Energy Act. The new alliance will take advantage of the opportunities to generate a clean and reliable local energy supply through the Ontario Government’s new regulation, said the company. Horizon is joining forces with the cities of Hamilton and St Catharines, together with McMaster University and Mohawk College as founding members of the Golden Horseshoe Strategic Energy Alliance. ‘This strategic powerhouse will combine the capabilities of these research and training institutions and the economic development resources of the cities to help create and attract the energy technologies and businesses of the future. Our alliance can provide the skilled workforce that this new sector will need, locally, for the benefit of all residents,’ said Horizon’s CEO Max Cananzi.
Premier Power Renewable Energy, a designer and developer of solar power systems, has signed an agreement with solar energy developer REgeneration Finance to fund photovoltaic projects throughout the US. The initial projects slated for financing under the memorandum of understanding arrangement are all under development by Premier Power and range in size from 250KW to 2MW, the company said. Dean Marks, chief executive officer at Premier Power, said the combination of Premier Power and REgeneration Finance brings together project financing capabilities with in-house execution. ‘This unique combination allows us to provide ‘single point certainty’ on our projects, through which our customers can rely on one source for development, engineering, installation, asset management and financing.’
Materials developer Solutia opens Chinese testing facility NYSE-listed specialty materials developer Solutia has designed and completed a new regional testing facility at the company’s Saflex polyvinyl butyral (PVB) manufacturing centre in Suzhou, China. The new Chinese facility will support the company’s laminate testing service programme for customers located in the Asia-Pacific region serving the architectural, automotive and photovoltaic markets and marks the third testing lab for the company, joining centres in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts and Louvain-laNeuve, Belgium. ‘While Solutia has always taken part in rigorous internal and external testing of our Saflex interlayers to ensure the quality of our products, the opening of a new customer service laboratory located at our plant in Suzhou, China brings this support to the Asia Pacific region,’ said
Mark Slock, global technical service director for Solutia’s Saflex division. ‘The new laboratory will allow Saflex applications staff to locally test laminated glass products made with PVB interlayers in-house, to ensure that they meet critical architectural, automotive and photovoltaic industry norms,’ he added. The new investment incorporates testing equipment such as a bake oven, thermal bath, pummel testing equipment and an impact tower. The customer service lab will also house a sample centre, which will provide Saflex sheet samples on request to customers across the region, the company said. Previously, Saflex used the company’s lab in Belgium to conduct laminate testing for Asia Pacific customers, which it said became time intensive and resulted in long lead times for the market.
SOLAR: company news
Green Solar to lend support to Solartech Renewables US solar financing partner, Green Solar Finance, has been awarded a professional services agreement by Solartech Renewables, a New York-based manufacturer of crystalline silicon solar panels and an advanced systems developer. Green Solar Finance will assist Solartech Renewables by offering access to the financing options available to reduce the cost of energy while converting to a clean solar power solution. ‘Solartech Renewables shares our priority to offer superior solar solutions while stimulating the local economy by creating jobs in the US. The combination of a favourable cost of capital and longer lasting industrial strength solar panels creates a winning formula for solar power clients, particularly in the power purchase agreement market,’ the company said in a statement.
SOLAR: company news
Silex Solar reopens Sydney Olympic Park’s solar manufacturing facility in Australia,’ said Silex CEO Dr Michael Goldsworthy. ‘Silex’s acquisition of the plant will effectively avert a total shutdown of the solar manufacturing industry in Australia. We now have a solid foundation to continue the great heritage of solar technology innovation and development.’ The SOP plant is the largest solar manufacturing facility in Australia’s southern hemisphere, with annual capacity of over 50MW of solar cell production and 15MW of module production and the company estimates that the potential future capacity of the plant could be expanded to 200MW. Last month, Silex completed the acquisition of the assets of Melbourne
China’s photovoltaic industry set for bumper year in 2010
NASA and FPL collaborate on solar facility at Kennedy Space Center
The surge of activity within the solar industry in China has been underestimated by many analysts, Ariel Ben-Porath, vice president of thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solution provider BrightView Systems has said. ‘Generally, my feeling is that China has been underestimated and probably under-covered by analysts,’ Ben-Porath, vice president of marketing and business development, said. ‘There is a surge of activity in Asia and particularly in China. We cannot disclose names at this point, but we are deeply involved with several key customers in China.’ ‘There are long-term government plans in place in China, some of which are unique to think-film technologies and others more general to solar. We think there are a lot of announcements just around the corner,’ Ben-Porath said. BrightView provides in-line meteorology-based process control tools for thin-film solar cell manufacturing. The company recently said that it would look to raise further funds this year.
based Solar Systems Group (SSG), a Victoria-based company that had already invested $150m into researching and developing a large scale utility-level solar power station technology. Silex Solar, a wholly-owned and operated subsidiary of Silex Systems, started manufacturing and sales operations in March 2010 and is ramping up production capacity to around 15MW of panels per year, with a full order book. Silex said it will review capacity in light of demand over the remainder of the year Initially the company will produce cells and modules using an optimised form of conventional mono-silicon processing, with a conversion efficiency of approximately 17 per cent.
Following its shutdown by BP Solar in late 2008, Silex Systems has reopened the Sydney Olympic Park (SOP) solar panel manufacturing facility, which it bought for $7m last year at one third of the cost of what it had originally budgeted for the purchase. Silex completed the acquisition of the SOP manufacturing facility, which BP shut as part of its restructuring process, in June 2009 for $6.5m, a fraction of the full cost of a new facility of an equivalent size. Silex submitted sample solar panels for certification by TUV Rheinland Labs in Japan in October last year, it said. ‘This is an exciting day, not just for Silex Solar, but for the entire solar industry
The FPL/NASA partnership could provide solar power for space exploration
US space organisation NASA and US energy utility Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) have formed a publicprivate partnership, commissioning a new solar photovoltaic facility, the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center. ‘NASA is a pioneer in the use of solar power for space exploration, so it’s fitting that we’re working with FPL to expand the use and R&D of that renew-
able energy source at Kennedy Space Center where many of those missions were launched,’ said Robert Cabana, director of the Kennedy Space Center. The partnership with NASA will provide America’s space programme, with solar power, added Cabana. Located on NASA property at the Kennedy Space Center, the output of the new solar space base is currently estimated at 10MW.
SOLAR: company news
Hyundai, LG partner with Matinee Energy for construction contracts US renewable energy company Matinee Energy has formed a strategic alliance with Korean technology heavyweights Hyundai Heavy Industries Company and LG Electronics. Matinee invited Hyundai and LG to join as lead partners for $1bn of solar plant construction contracts totalling 240MW. Matinee said it also plans to add additional alliance partners in the future. Michael Pannos, chairman of Matinee, said the strategic alliance gives Matinee the ability to reach economies of scale in both solar and wind turbine energy projects.
‘This announcement combined with the engagement of JP Morgan Securities to help with the permanent project finance segment of the project, has finalised Matinee’s total financing solutions for those projects.’ According to Matinee, The Industrial Company, a Colorado-based division of Peter Kiewit & Sons, will join other construction companies in providing services. Matinee said it is targeting utility scale solar energy plants in excess of 900MW primarily in the south-west US.
Venture capitalists invested more in the US solar market than in any other clean technology sector in 2009, according to latest figures released by US trade body the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Total US solar electric capacity from photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies climbed past 2,000MW, enough to serve more than 350,000 homes, the report said. In addition, total solar thermal capacity in the US approached 24,000MW. SEIA said solar revenues had also surged, up 36 per cent, in 2009 while in total $1.4bn in venture capital flowed to solar companies in 2009. It said the influx of venture capitalists to this space signalled a huge optimism for near-term growth,
especially as the volume of the of the total market stands at $4bn. It said a doubling in size of the residential PV market and three new CSP plants helped lift the US solar electric market 37 per cent in annual installations over 2008, to 481MW in 2009 from 351MW in 2008. SEIA said although investments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) got off to a slow start they did help in easing the pressures of the credit crisis.
US-based GreenWindSolar plans development of Mexican facilities Arizona, US-based renewable energy company GreenWindSolar (GWS) is to provide engineering, project management, solar equipment and technology integration on proposed solar farm sites to electric substations in Veracruz and Chiapas, Mexico, with estimated costs ranging from $50m to $250m per project. In November 2008, the Mexican Congress passed the Renewable Energy Usage and Energy Transition Financing Act, which the company said is a clear step towards implementing alternative energy policy at the federal level. The new law allows private companies to generate their own electricity by using renewables to supply their needs, the company added.
O’Neal, an integrated design and construction firm based in the US county Greenville, has formed a strategic partnership with Scheuten Solar USA, a California-based photovoltaic solar panel and system provider, to jointly market and install solar systems. Through the partnership, O’Neal and Scheuten Solar said they plan to offer turnkey photovoltaic solar systems for industrial, commercial, institutional and utility scale solar projects, and work with other solar distributors and installers in the south-east of the US. The companies will conduct site feasibility analysis and offer solar system design, installation, commissioning, maintenance and monitoring services. ‘This is a natural entry to our focus on the growing renewable market. The number of people and companies interested in exploring solar technologies is up dramatically. We’ve partnered with Scheuten Solar so that we can deliver turn-key renewable solutions to our customers and can help them navigate the tax and regulatory aspects of solar energy,’ said O’Neal president and CEO, Kevin Bean. According to Bean, the solar market is poised for significant growth. ‘We believe the case for solar is solid now and will only get better.’
O’Neal and Scheuten VCs pick solar as top clean energy investment sector in 2009, says study Solar USA join for
wind: DEAL News
Guodian agrees $732m credit line with Chinese bank
Vestas secures 50MW Chinese turbine order
Chinese wind company Guodian United Power has sealed a credit line agreement with the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) for CNY5bn ($732m), according to news reports. The deal comes soon after Guodian Inner Mongolian Energy Sources, a subsidiary of China Guodian Group, entered a non-binding agreement with White Energy China to build and operate a coal upgrading facility with initial capacity of one million tons per annum in China. The initial investment for the White Energy China joint venture was approximately $74m in exchange for a 35 per cent stake with Guodian Inner Mongolian Energy holding a 65 per cent interest. The move comes as China is found to have doubled its total capacity in 2009 for the fourth year in a row, according to the Chinese Renewable Energy Industry – Potential Investment Destination report, published earlier this year.
Denmark-headquartered wind energy company Vestas has received an order from an unnamed repeat Chinese customer for wind turbines totalling 50MW in capacity, due to be delivered in the third quarter of 2010 for a project in the Heilongjiang province. The contract includes supply and commissioning of the wind turbines, a VestasOnline Business SCADA system, and a two-year service and maintenance agreement, said the company. Vestas has maintained a presence in China for more than 20 years ‘We are proud to partner once again with this customer and we are eager to continue to build upon our partnership,’ said Jens Tommerup, president of Vestas China. ‘We will do our utmost to ensure that this relationship is long-lasting and mutually beneficial.’ Vestas said it has been engaged in China’s wind energy industry for more than 20 years, has a long history with Heilongjiang province and remains committed to its development and growth. Vestas said it is aiming towards 100 per cent Chinesemade content. As of 31 December 2009, the company had an accumulated installed capacity of more than 2,000MW in China, in 13 provinces. Vestas began to concentrate exclusively on wind energy in 1987 and was the first wind turbine company to enter the Chinese market when it installed the first turbines in Shandong and Hainan in 1986.
Cape Wind targets new offshore developments
Xcel Energy, enXco, close deal on 201MW Nobles Wind Project
US wind developer Cape Wind has entered into an agreement with turbine manufacturer Siemens to supply 130 of its 3.6MW turbines for the first US planned offshore wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts. The deal comes at a time when Siemens also announces plans to open a US offshore wind office in Boston. ‘We are pleased to be working with Siemens which is a market leader in offshore wind and we are thrilled Siemens is bringing clean energy jobs to Massachusetts by opening up its US offshore wind office in Boston. This agreement between Cape Wind and Siemens represents a major step forward to jump-starting the American offshore wind industry and increasing energy independence,’ said Jim Gordon, Cape Wind president.
Energy companies enXco and Xcel Energy have closed a wind project purchase and sale agreement (WPPSA) for the Nobles Wind Project, a 201MW facility to be constructed in south-west Minnesota, US. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the Nobles Wind Project in May 2009. The closure of the WPPSA transfers the project ownership to Northern States Power, an Xcel Energy operating company. The agreement between enXco and Xcel Energy builds on the experience the two companies attained through their joint developments of nearly 500MW over the past several years, including Grand Meadow Wind Farm, Fenton Wind Project, Viking Wind Project and Chanarambie Wind Project all located in Minnesota, as well as Peetz Wind Project in Colorado. ‘Closing the WPPSA is an important
milestone in the development of the Nobles Wind project,’ said Steve Peluso, vice president development for enXco’s Midwest region. ‘The spring weather allows us to step up construction efforts, generating 150 jobs in the next few months. We are pleased to once again partner with Xcel Energy to bring economic and renewable benefits from the Nobles Wind Project to their customers in the Upper Midwest.’ The Nobles Wind Project, consisting of 134 GE 1.5MW turbines, is expected to be operational by the end of 2010, helping Xcel Energy to reach its Renewable Portfolio Standard target of generating 30 per cent of its retail electrical sales with renewable power by 2020. EnXco, an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company, develops, constructs, operates and manages renewable energy projects throughout the US.
wind: DEAL news
NYSE-listed wind power company Constellation Energy has closed an agreement to acquire the Maryland, US-based 70MW Criterion wind project from Clipper Windpower and purchase 28 Clipper Liberty 2.5MW wind turbines for the project. The company anticipates that commercial operation of the wind facility, which will be developed, constructed, owned and operated by Constellation Energy, will begin by 2011. ‘Maryland’s clean energy goals are among the most ambitious in the nation and we’re committed to working with the state to achieve them by investing in an array of solar, wind, biomass and other sustainable energy projects,’ said Kathleen W Hyle, senior vice president, Constellation Energy, and COO, Constellation Energy Resources. ‘The market for clean energy products and services is growing rapidly in Maryland and across competitive energy markets nationwide.’
Constellation Energy said it will continue to work with state and federal agencies in an effort to complete the project with minimum environmental impact and plans to apply for an incidental take permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The project has also entered into a 20year power purchase agreement regarding energy and renewable energy credits produced by the wind facility with the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, a non-profit wholesale power provider serving public electric cooperatives in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. Constellation Energy said it owns a diversified fleet of generating units located in the US and Canada, totalling approximately 7,100MW. Headquartered in Baltimore, the company delivers electricity and natural gas through the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, its regulated utility in Central Maryland, and reported revenues of $15.6bn in 2009.
Eneco Wind obtains the rights to develop 51MW Scottish wind farm Energy company Eneco Wind UK has gained the rights to develop a 51MW wind farm on the Lochluichart Estate in the Scottish Highlands from wind development company Infinergy. As a result of the transaction, Eneco will enter into a working partnership with the Lochluichart Estate to bring the development through to commercial operation. Marc van der Linden, managing director of Eneco Wind, said, ‘This is a landmark deal for Eneco and Infinergy, together with the Lochluichart Estate. It brings the Eneco commitment to the UK to a sigThe 51MW Lochluichart facility nificant capacity together with Tullo (17MW) and the will comprise 17 turbines recent offshore award of the West of Wight Round 3 concession.’ Eneco will now construct and operate the Lochluichart wind farm which was given in 2008 by the Scottish government. The project comprises 17 turbines with a nominal capacity of 51MW, which is equivalent to the supply of electricity for up to 28,000 households. It is hoped that the wind farm will enter operation by 2013. As part of the deal, Eneco said it will look to work with local Scottish businesses and contractors wherever possible.
Sigma invests £3m in small-scale wind Asset manager Sigma Capital Group has made investments into a wind turbine company and an energy efficiency technology business through its Sigma Sustainable Energy Fund II. The investments, totalling £3m, were made to Ampair Energy, a company based in the south of the UK that manufacturers small-scale wind turbines, and Energyflo Construction Technologies, which spun out of Aberdeen University in 2004 and provides energy efficient installation. Mark Hogarth, investment director at Sigma, said that both areas were sectors the firm had been looking at for some time and energy efficiency was an investment theme the fund will make further commitments to. ‘We have got plenty of headroom in the fund at the moment so we are looking to add more companies during the course of this year and next year.’ Hogarth said Ampair’s competitiveness and its ability to manufacturer large-scale turbines using the same technology platform as its smaller scale devices made it an attractive investment opportunity for the firm.
Constellation acquires Criterion wind project
Aeronautica and Goss team-up for US wind turbine manufacture US-based wind turbine manufacturer Aeronautica Windpower has joined forces with Goss International to build 225KW and 750KW wind turbines at the Goss manufacturing facility in Durham, New Hampshire. The companies will construct turbine nacelles in the 50,000 square foot facility, which will then be shipped to job sites across North America. Aeronautica Windpower manufactures 100KW to 750KW wind turbines. The company sells to end users and the wind energy industry. In April, the company signed a licencing agreement with Danish wind turbine manufacturer Norwin to produce turbines for the US and Caribbean markets.
wind: DEAL News
AES Wind acquires UK developer Your Energy and majority stake in 3E Wind company AES Wind Generation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NYSElisted energy group AES, has acquired UK-based wind developer Your Energy (YEL) and signed an agreement to acquire a 51 per cent stake in a wind portfolio from Polish developer 3E. The investments, which AES Wind said will require $400m of its equity over five years, will add more than 700MW to its European pipeline. Out of the equity to be put forward by the company, $120m will be invested in bringing 200MW into construction by the end of 2011. ‘In line with our strategy to focus on high-growth renewable energy markets in Europe, these transactions expand
AES Wind Generation’s portfolio within the UK and into Poland. With more than 200MW in advanced-stage development, these investments will begin contributing to our growth in 2012 and beyond,’ said Paul Hanrahan, president and CEO of AES. The acquisition of YEL includes a development pipeline of more than 300MW, of which AES Wind said it plans to begin construction on 48MW by the end of 2010. According to AES Wind’s agreement with Polish wind developer 3E, AES Wind would acquire a 51 per cent stake in 422MW of its development pipeline. The company said it expects to begin construction on approximately 34MW
Platina acquires 52MW of French wind farms for €71m Platina Partners, a private equity fund manager specialising in renewable energy and buy-outs, has acquired 52MW of the 140MW Fruges wind farms in France from Infigen Energy for €71.3m through its investment fund, European Renewable Energy Fund I (EREF). Following the investment in the wind farms, which are based in Pas de Calais, France, the fund has a total of 139.5MW under construction or in operation. The investment is EREF’s first since its final close on 29 March 2010 and tenth in all. Alexandre Labouret, partner at Platina Partners, said, ‘Having exited our previous French wind farm investments at the end of 2007, we have been seeking the right opportunity to reinvest in what we see as one of the key European renewable energy markets, offering an excellent support regime.’ The firm said the acquisition continues EREF’s investment strategy of assembling a portfolio of operational renewable electricity generation projects across Europe. Debt financing for the investment was provided by NordLB.
in 2010 and 120MW in 2011. In March 2010, AES Wind Generation achieved commercial operation of Bulgaria’s largest wind project, the 156MW Kavarna wind project, shortly after it had gained knowledge of the local power markets, the company said. AES is also constructing the 670MW Maritza East power plant, which is expected to reach commercial operation by the end of 2010, in addition to the 34.5MW St Patrick wind project AES Wind Generation has approximately 1,700MW of wind capacity in operation globally and expects to bring an additional 99MW online in China through the end of 2010.
American Superconductor wins $20m Indian wind turbine order Technology giant American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) has received an initial order for full wind turbine electrical control systems worth more than $20m from India-based Ghodawat Energy (GEPL). Under the terms of the contract, AMSC will begin shipping the electrical control systems to Ghodawat in mid-2010 and will complete all shipments by the end of calendar 2013 at the latest. Ghodawat is the sixth customer to place a volume production order for wind turbine power electronic components or systems with AMSC over the past 12 months, the company said. GEPL managing director Shrenik Ghodawat said that with the growth of pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and energy independence, global concerns are helping to drive the adoption of renewable power.
Iberdrola Renovables acquires Energias Renovables from bank Global wind developer Iberdrola Renovables has acquired the remaining 50 per cent of the equity in its Spanish subsidiary Energias Renovables de la Region de Murcia (ERRM) from Spanish savings bank Caja de Ahorros de Murcia and various local enterprises. Iberdrola Renovables, which was already ERRM’s majority sharehold-
er through its 50 per cent stake, has now acquired 100 per cent of ERRM. With six wind farms in operation located in the Murcian region of Altiplano in Spain, renewable energy company ERRM, has an installed capacity of 140MW. All the farms are being monitored by the Renewable Energies Operations Centre of Toledo, said the company.
Wind Works Power awarded 80MW contracts through FIT
ChapDrive secures €10m funding for turbine technology
Canadian wind developer Wind Works Power has been offered seven power purchase agreements for 80MW in wind energy projects under Ontario’s latest feed-in tariff license round. The new contracts, awarded by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), include the 20MW Ganaraska project and the Snowy Ridge, Grey Highlands, Clean Breeze, Whispering Woods and Cloudy Ridge projects, each comprising 10MW capacity. Eight wind energy projects that were not offered contracts in this round have been placed into an economic connection test with the OPA, expected to be examined in the next few months, to assess the time at which grid expansions and upgrades can facilitate the connection of these projects. Wind Works Power said it is aimed at providing the opportunity for anyone to participate early in the development of renewable wind energy projects. Canada is, at present, the sixth largest electricity producer in the world and the fourth largest exporter of power. In terms of wind power production, however, it only ranks 18th in the world.
Norwegian wind turbine company ChapDrive has secured NOK86m (€10m) to commercialise its technology for 5MW wind turbines with hydraulic transmission. The funding has been secured through an agreement with new investors Viking Venture and Investinor alongside existing shareholders NorthZone Ventures, Hafslund Venture and Energy Capital Management (Statoil Venture). ChapDrive said the market for its technology, developed in conjunction with oil major Statoil, is in excess of NOK150bn (€18.7bn) annually. Jens Anders Jensen, CEO of ChapDrive, said the funding secures the next step towards commercialisation of the ChapDrive technology for large wind turbines in the 5MW class. ‘The current development is focusing on concept design of a 5MW hydraulic transmission and we expect the first prototype wind turbine with the 5MW ChapDrive hydraulic transmission in 2012.’
SSE Renewables secures $400m loan from European Investment Bank
Far East Wind acquires Chinese project rights
Latest agreement takes the total of SSE’s funding to £3.8bn
The renewable energy arm of energy company Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has secured a £400m loan facility from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to help finance the development of renewable energy schemes in the UK. The latest agreement takes the total funding SSE Renewables has secured since July 2008 to £3.8bn, through new bonds, loans and proceeds of the placing of 42 million new ordinary shares in January 2009. Gregor Alexander, finance director of SSE, said, ‘We are in the middle of a five-year programme to invest around £3bn in renewable energy. The EIB funding will support our well-financed investment programme
and help deliver assets which are needed to help meet EU, UK and Irish renewable energy targets.’ Earlier this month SSE was awarded £6.3m from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, alongside Doosan Babcock and Vattenfall, for the development of its 5MW carbon capture trial project at Ferrybridge Power Station. In addition, it has also been awarded exclusive rights to develop 400MW of wave and tidal energy in Pentland First and Orkney Waters and a further 400MW with its partners, Aquamarine and OpenHydro, as the big winner in The Crown Estate’s latest leasing round.
wind: deal news
Wind farm developer Far East Wind Power has entered into an agreement with joint venture Chinese company Wuhan Guoce Nordic New Energy to acquire the rights to a number of development stage wind farm projects in the Jilin Province and Inner Mongolia regions of China. The proposed projects included within the letter of intent will be acquired from Guoce for cash and other considerations subject to agreed-upon financing. Guoce is a manufacturer of wind turbines, formed as a joint venture between Chinabased Wuhan Guoce Nordic New Energy and Sweden’s Deltawind, and has been assembling a 700MW portfolio of project locations. It works with local, regional and national agencies, as well as regional grid operators to acquire requisite permits and approvals necessary for development efforts to proceed, it said. As part of the agreement, Far East Wind Power will exclusively use wind turbines manufactured by Guoce in any of the projects that come to fruition and position Guoce as a strategic partner on these developments.
wind: Company news
Siemens Energy to build £80m wind turbine factory in the UK Global power provider Siemens Energy, a subsidiary of electronics giant Siemens, has signed an agreement with the UK government to build a new £80m production plant for wind turbines in the UK, to meet growing demand for British offshore wind projects. Expected to create around 700 new jobs including logistics and supplier roles, Siemens is currently appraising the suitability of potential sites for the production plant on the east coast and northeast of the UK with a special focus on harbour infrastructure, said the company. Maria McCaffery, chief executive of renewable energy industry group RenewableUK, said, ‘This announcement and the involvement from Siemens shows what can be achieved when industry and government work together to create the right investment conditions, and gives us confidence that as a
Wind Capital Group to develop Missouri’s largest wind project Wind energy developer Wind Capital Group has closed financing for the Lost Creek Wind Project in DeKalb County, Missouri, US. A group of international leaders in project finance lending is providing $240m in debt facilities to support the construction and operation of the project. The 150MW project is believed to be the largest investment by the private sector in the state of Missouri this year. ‘This is an example of what can happen, even in the toughest of economic climates, when you have an excellent team of people working with common purpose toward helping the US achieve energy independence,’ said Wind Capital group president Tom Carnahan. ‘We view this not just as a project closing, but as a validation of the business model we have created.’
Siemens is appraising the suitability of potential sites for wind turbines in the UK
country we will deliver on our renewable energy targets.’ Peter Löscher, president and CEO
of Siemens, signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the plant with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown alongside Business Secretary Peter Mandelson and Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband. ‘The British government has established attractive terms and conditions for investors in renewables. This applies in particular to offshore wind power,’ said Andreas J Goss, CEO of Siemens UK. ‘We’re intending to make investments in the high double-digit million range.’ At the beginning of the year, Siemens Financial Services secured the go-ahead with Mainstream Renewable Power for development of the Hornsea 4GW zone as part of The Crown Estate’s third round of offshore wind leasing programme, which aims to meet a quarter of the UK’s power demand targeting 32GW of UK offshore wind projects by 2020.
MHI expands US foothold, unveils plans for new wind nacelle plant Global technology manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) said it will build its second US wind turbine manufacturing plant in Arkansas by 2011, which will be its first US facility to fabricate nacelles, the central energy conversion systems of wind turbines. MHI said construction of the plant is slated to begin by the end of the year on a secured 90 acre site in Arkansas’ second largest city Fort Smith, with operation slated for the second half of 2011. The new plant will be operated and managed by MHI’s Florida power systems business, Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas (MPSA), with an initial production capacity of 600MW. The company’s first US facility, VienTek, is a turbine blade manufacturing plant based in Mexico. By localising nacelle production through the establishment of the new plant, MHI said it will enhance its ability to respond to growing wind power demand in the US. The company added that it is looking to expand its share in the US market, which it said is now in a recovery trend. Due to begin operations with about 300 employees and specialise in nacelles, the plant will initially target the manufacture of around 250 2.4MW wind turbines per year, with scale to expand incrementally. MHI said it will also consider launching longer-blade type turbines for low wind-speed applications. The Arkansas state and Fort Smith municipal governments are due to provide incentive measures for the plant’s construction, which MHI said complement the IRS 48C Advanced Energy Project Tax Credit. Headquartered in Tokyo, MHI has delivered more than 3,500 units to the US market since delivering its first unit in 1980 and installing its first US wind turbine in 1987.
New installation surges in 2009 says US wind industry
Wind power boom to continue for next five years, GWEC says
The US wind energy industry installed more than 10,000MW of new wind power generating capacity in 2009, the largest year in the nation’s history, according to figures by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Within the sector, GE Energy remained number one in the US for wind turbine sales, NextEra Energy Resources continued to own the most wind farms and Xcel Energy continued to lead in wind power usage. AWEA CEO Denise Bode said ‘Jobs, business opportunities, clean air, energy security – wind power is delivering today on all those fronts for Americans.’ The AWEA annual report found that in 2009, over 10,000MW of new capacity was added, however the growth in manufacturing fell compared to 2008. In total, wind accounted for 1.8 per cent of all electricity generated in the US, an increase of 0.5 per cent in 2008. Within the individual states, Iowa generated the highest percentage of their electricity from wind at 14 per cent. Offshore wind is gaining ground in the US, the AWEA said, with seven projects listed as having significant progress with both the federal and state governments continuing to encourage offshore wind power development. The AWEA in the national trade association of America’s wind industry, representing more than 2,500 member companies.
Global wind power capacity is set to increase by 160 per cent in the coming five years as China overtakes German capacity for the first time, according to latest figures by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). It said it expects the global installed wind capacity will reach 409GW by 2014, up from 158.5GW at the end of 2009. This assumes an average growth rate of 21 per cent per year, down from the 29 per cent average that seen over the past decade. GWEC said China’s growth was taking place at a ‘breaktaking pace’ with its annual wind capacity accounting for one third of global output in 2009. This led the economic superpower to overtake Germany by a narrow margin, the GWEC said. It added that China will remain one of the main drivers of global growth in the coming years, with annual additions expected to be over 20GW by 2014. ‘This development is underpinned by a very aggressive government policy supporting the diversification of the electricity supply and the growth of the domestic industry,’ the GWEC said.
Dong submits tender for Danish offshore wind farm concession Energy company Dong Energy has submitted a binding tender to the Danish Energy Agency for the concession to build a 400MW offshore wind farm off the Danish island of Anholt in the Kattegat. If the concession is awarded to Dong, the total investment is expected to represent up to DKK10bn (€130m). ‘Building Anholt offshore wind farm will be an important milestone in the expansion of renewable energy production in Denmark. Dong Energy has built half of the largest offshore wind farms in the world,’ said Anders Eldrup, CEO of Dong Energy. ‘The project will also fit well into our 85-15 plan to significantly increase our portfolio of renewable energy and to reduce CO2 emissions. Therefore, we found it natural to bid for Anholt offshore wind farm.’ Anholt offshore wind farm is expected to supply around four per cent of Denmark’s total power consump-
wind: Company News
Radar interference proves challenging for wind farm developers
Anders Eldrup, CEO, Dong Energy
tion, producing its first power in 2012 and to be finally completed in 2013, said the company. In 2009, Dong Energy built the Horns Rev 2 wind farm, which has a capacity of 209MW and is situated in the Danish sector of the North Sea. The company said it is also currently building two offshore wind farms in the UK and is the operator of several wind farms in Northern Europe.
Obtaining planning permission and connecting to the grid are two major challenges wind energy project developers come up against. As governments push forward their plans to increase production from renewable energy sources, however, radar interference is an increasing challenge. Mark Roberts, strategic market team director, energy and environment at defence and security technology provider QinetiQ said wind farms and radar do not sit happily alongside one another. ‘It is a big issue in the deployment of wind farms in and around the UK and elsewhere in the world,’ he said. ‘More and more people are becoming aware of it as the ramp-up of renewable energy increases.’
wind: company NEWS
Nebraska law allows private companies to export wind energy outside the state
A new law has been passed in the US state of Nebraska that will for the first time allow private companies to export wind energy outside of the state in an effort to encourage the development of the renewable energy sector. Nebraksa has been ranked by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) as sixth highest for wind potential but 24th for actual production. A statement by Governor Dave Heineman said the bill is designed to encourage the development, ownership and operation of renewable energy facilities for the export of wind
Hanwei to restructure wind business in face of local competition China-based energy efficiency management company Hanwei Energy Services said it is reviewing its wind power business and looking into strategic cooperation agreements after domestic market conditions have become increasingly unfavourable. Hanwei said it is looking at a strategic cooperation within the company and is in talks with a large unnamed Chinese wind power manufacturing company as well as a wind farm operator and a Chinese state-owned enterprise. ‘If such an agreement were reached, it is anticipated that the company would focus on wind blade manufacturing and sales,’ it said. ‘With respect to the potential joint venture, discussions are at an early stage, no agreement in principle has been reached and the [Chinese] state owned enterprise is conducting preliminary due diligence.’ In February, the company said it may have to restructure its wind business as sales from its single customer had dropped rapidly. In addition, the company’s senior vice president of financial and business development Kim Oishi is to resign.
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman
energy from the state. ‘This legislation marks the beginning of accelerated wind energy development in Nebraska. This legislation combined with previous wind energy efforts, will allow Nebraska to achieve its wind
energy potential, wind energy development will foster growth of the clean energy economy and provide meaningful employment and educational opportunities for Nebraskans,’ he said. Under the new system, the Nebraska Power Review Board will approve wind energy operations. The bill was introduced by the Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Senator Chris Langemeier. ‘The passage of LB 1048 provides us with significant economic development opportunities and a tool to create jobs in the coming years,’ Langemeier said.
EREC calls for EU to use 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 The European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) has called for the European Union to source 100 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050, as outlined in a new report. Christian Kjaer, chief executive of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), said, ‘EWEA fully supports EREC’s vision of Europe moving towards 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050. We have abundant wind, sun and other resources and the technologies to do it. Harnessing these natural and clean energy sources would give Europe energy independence, and create hundreds of thousands of jobs in Europe. 100 per cent renewables is an inspiring but achievable objective which makes economic, environmental and social sense for Europe.’ The report said the benefit of an 80 per cent reduction in emissions would be equivalent to a lower total cost of energy of €350bn per year by 2050.
US energy utility OG&E seeks approval for $400m Oklahoma wind farm US energy utility OG&E said it is seeking approval to build and operate a 198MW wind farm in the US state of Oklahoma. OG&E said if it gained approval for the $400m Crossroads wind farm, it would achieve its goal of quadrupling the amount of wind power on its system by 2012. This goal was set in 2008 when it had 170MW of wind energy on its system. Today, it has 270MW of wind power capacity and will add an additional 280MW from projects slated for completion later
this year, it said. The addition of the Crossroads project, if it is approved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, means the company will have 751MW of wind generation. Howard Motley, vice president of regulatory affairs for OG&E, said the Crossroads project represents the achievement of a very lofty goal. ‘It also provides another opportunity to add significant renewable generation at the lowest reasonable cost to OG&E customers,’ he said.
wind: company news
Spanish energy giant Iberdrola has received approval to connect 1,500MW of wind power to Romania’s grid as it increases its drive into Eastern Europe. The licence from the Romanian government will allow Iberdrola to get its Dobruja Project underway, which will see 50 wind farms built in the south-east of the country. The Spanish utility opened an office in the Romanian capital Bucharest in 2009 and previously announced that Eastern Europe was a priority for the company in the years to come, with a project pipeline of nearly 4,700MW. The company said all wind farms constructed in the country will be done in co-operation with partner Eolica Dobrogea and it will construct the first wind farm, the 80MW Mihai Viteazu, this year. The go-ahead by the Romanian grid operator Transelectrica will enable Iberdrola to supply nearly one million households, cutting carbon emissions in the country by 2.6 million tonnes. Eolica Dobrogea, which is owned by Swiss engineering group NEK and domestic companies C-Tech and Rokura, will plan and obtain the construction permits for the wind farms before they are built and operated by Iberdrola. In 2009, the Spanish company funnelled almost €100m in developing renewable energy projects in Eastern Europe and now has a footprint in Poland, Hungary, Estonia and Bulgaria. It is also taking wind measurements for potential future developments in Russia. Last month, Iberdrola said it would invest half of its upcoming €18bn in renewable energy, with the majority going into its US operations. The company has been keen to diversify out of its Spanish base after the country’s clean energy market crashed following the removal of over-generous government support. It said in 2012 it expects 21 per cent of its energy business will be based in the UK, a tenth in Latin America and eight per cent in the US.
Faulty wind turbines to cost Dong £12m Faulty wind turbines are going to cost Denmark’s largest power producer Dong Energy £12m to repair, the company has admitted. Turbines located at three of the energy producer’s wind farms are sinking into their foundations and will need fixing, Dong spokesperson Andreas Krog said. The design flaw may also impact wind farm operators Royal Dutch Shell and Centrica. ‘There is a fault in the connection between the foundations and the transition piece that means the transition piece slides down,’ Krog said. He said the fault was affecting 164 wind turbines at the Burbo Bank, Gunfleet Sands and Horns Rev 2 sites. A statement by UK trade association RenewableUK to Bloomberg said the flaw was first detected by Shell at its Egmond aan Zee wind farm off the Dutch coast. DONG recently submitted a tender to build a 400MW offshore wind farm off the Danish island of Anholt.
Iberdrola gets approval for Romanian projects
Romanian oil and gas group Petrom to build 45MW wind farm Romanian oil and gas group Petrom said it is on track to diversify its energy mix as it forges ahead with plans for a new wind power project in the south-east of the country, with a total capacity of 45MW. Petrom will construct and operate the SC Wind Power Park in Dobrogea, which is expected to enter production in mid-2011. The project will be equipped with Vestas V-90 turbines, for which the acquisition contracts are already in place. Petrom estimates due to the high potential of the area there is a possibility to expand the capacity of the project to 54MW. Mariana Gheorghe, CEO of Petrom, said the company intends to capitalise on the flexibility of its Brazi gas-fired power plant, which is also part of its focus on renewable generation.
Mariana Gheorghe, CEO, Petrom
‘With a portfolio which includes both gas-fired capacities and renewable capacities, we benefit from the strengths of both technologies. Diversification
into wind power is in line with our sustainability efforts,’ Gheorghe said. ‘In the medium term, by capitalising on the gas and power convergence and by developing renewable energy projects, Petrom will make the transition from a pure oil and gas company to an energy player.’ The resulting green certificates allocated for power production in this wind park will be used to cover the demand resulting from the internal electricity consumption of the company, while the remaining certificates will be sold on the Romanian market. This latest announcement comes days after the Chinese Development Bank said it would fund China-based companies looking to invest in Romania wind farms, according to reports. There are 22 wind energy projects currently operating in Romania.
Bioenergy: deal news
Biomass developer Intrinergy eyes growth with Riverstone investment
Energy-focused private equity firm Riverstone Holdings’ most recent renewable energy fund has made an investment in biomass energy company Intrinergy. The size of the deal was not disclosed. Intrinergy said it is planning to use the proceeds from Riverstone to fuel its growth strategy in the US and Europe. John Keppler, CEO of Intrinergy, said, ‘The capital from Riverstone will enable us to build on our market position and take advantage of the significant growth opportunities we see for biomass, here and in Europe. ‘Demand for biomass from utilities and consumers committed to clean energy and carbon reduction will soon outstrip biomass resources available in Europe. This, along with rising demand for biomass in North America, creates significant opportunities for Intrinergy.’
Riverstone’s investment will enable Intrinergy to acquire and develop low-cost wood pellet operations and other fibre processing assets, principally in the southeastern US and other selected regions, said the company. ‘Major power producers provide firm capacity – access to around-the-clock energy – to their customers,’ said Keppler. ‘We are taking the same certainty of supply that utilities have come to demand from their fossil fuel suppliers, and we are translating that to the renewable sector.’ The most recent addition to Intrinergy’s portfolio, Intrinergy Valorbois in Belgium, will be commissioned in the second quarter of 2010 and will generate up to 5MW of electricity, the company said. Founded in 2004 with operations in the south-east and Midwest US and in Europe, the company specialises in biomass sourcing,
processing and delivery, and in energy production for large-scale utility and industrial customers around the world. David Leuschen and Pierre Lapeyre, co-founders of Riverstone, added, ‘The tremendous growth opportunity in the emerging biomass sector, coupled with Intrinergy’s success to date and strong management team, make this an excellent addition to our renewable energy portfolio.’ With approximately $17bn under management across six investment funds, Riverstone, which conducts buy-out and growth capital investments, has committed approximately $13bn to 66 investments in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Earlier this year, it completed the acquisition of offshore wind turbine construction technology firm Seajacks International for $207m.
Temasek invests $47.8m in Amyris for new refinery
GM and US DOE joint venture to develop jatropha biodiesel
Temasek Holdings, which owns and manages the Singapore government’s direct investments locally and overseas, has invested $47.8m into integrated renewable energy company Amyris Biotechnologies to support commercial plant design. Amyris said it also intends to use the funds for construction activities as well as ongoing operations in the US and Brazil. ‘We are privileged to welcome Temasek as a significant investor, and appreciate having them join us as we look to commercialise and scale our renewable fuels and chemicals,’ said Amyris CEO John Melo. Amyris has secured $244m in private funding since inception in 2003, including funding directly into Amyris Biotechnologies and into its subsidiary, Amyris Brasil. Other Amyris investors include TPG Biotechnology, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Votorantim Novos Negocios.
Global automotive company General Motors (GM) has formed a five-year partnership with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to help develop the potential of jatropha as a sustainable biofuel energy crop. The goal of the project is to demonstrate that jatropha, a drought-resistant and non-edible plant that is traditionally considered a weed but can be refined into biodiesel, can produce significant quantities of oil for conversion to biodiesel, GM said. The partnership also aims to develop new varieties of the high-yield jatropha that can withstand frost and grow in temperate Jatropha will be cultivated as a biofuel crop climates such as the US. ‘Discovering new sources for biodiesel production is an important part of DOE research and development efforts,’ said US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. ‘The expertise of this team can help speed the pace for the development of jatropha as a biofuel crop.’ Two jatropha farms will be established in India through the partnership, including a 39.5 acre plot in Bhavngar and a 93.9 acre plot in Kalol, near GM’s India car manufacturing plant. An existing 74.1 acre jatropha farm in Bhavnagar will also be managed under this project. Lab-optimised strains of jatropha, produced through selective and marker-assisted breeding will be cultivated at these farms, said GM, and a complete lifecycle analysis will be conducted to evaluate the environmental impacts of the projects.
NRG Energy secures 10-year New York state contract
Nova Scotia power to invest CAN$200m to build biomass plant
NYSE-listed energy company NRG Energy has received a ten-year contract from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for power generated using renewable biomass fuel at its Dunkirk Generating Station in western New York. The project, which is expected to come online by the end of 2011, will produce up to 15MW of the station’s total output by co-firing with clean wood biomass, the company said. NRG said it plans to locally source sustainably harvested biomass, including forest and wood processing residues. ‘Adding sustainable biomass to the fuel mix cuts emissions and supports the state’s goal of producing 30 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015,’ said Drew Murphy, president of NRG’s north-east region. ‘This project will also create up to 50 processing and transportation jobs in western New York, and produce enough electricity to power 12,000 households.’ New York’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which was established in 2004, was last year expanded to increase the proportion of renewable electricity sold in New York from 25 per cent to 30 per cent by 2015. NYSERDA said it conducts competitive solicitations to award contracts for projects that deliver renewable energy to the New York wholesale power market to meet this goal. In addition to the Dunkirk project, NRG is planning to use biomass as a primary fuel at its Montville generating station, after repowering one of the facility’s existing units to produce up to 40MW. In Louisiana, NRG has created a 20 acre test site using locally grown switchgrass and sorghum to be used as a biomass fuel at its Big Cajun II plant.
Canadian electricity generator and distributor Nova Scotia Power will invest CAN$200m ($199.9m) under an agreement with mill operator NewPage Port Hawkesbury to develop a 60MW biomass co-generation facility. Nova Scotia will invest CAN$93m in construction costs for new facilities alongside purchasing assets from NewPage. NewPage will be responsible for the construction and operation of the co-generation facility and be completely responsible for fuel supply, the companies said in a statement. This project remains subject to regulatory approval from the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, and is targeting an in-service date of late-2012. The biomass plant will be fuelled by local supplies and generate up to 400GW hours annually, representing three per cent of the province’s total electricity requirement.
International Forest Products teams with Serbia’s Forest Enterprises Serbia-based wood pellet producer Forest Enterprises, a wholly owned subsidiary of Phaunos Timber Fund, an investment scheme from FourWinds Capital Management established to invest in timber related assets, has entered into a sales and marketing agreement with US company International Forest Products (IFP). The agreement establishes IFP as the exclusive marketer of Forest Enterprises’ wood pellet products to the European markets of Italy, Austria and Germany. The Pukovac plant in Serbia, officially opened in October 2009, is replicable in other locations and scalable to higher production capacity depending on fibre availability, said the company. Henry Whittemore, FourWinds Capital Management’s director of investments and acquisitions, said, ‘The company (IFP) is well-known for its strong relationships in the international trade of wood products. IFP provides excellent exposure to deep markets in Western Europe where
wood pellets are in high demand and where the demand is growing.’ In addition to reaching the EU markets, the contract with IFP provides for sufficient flexibility to allow Forest Enterprises to develop markets in Serbia so the local economy may begin to utilise locally produced biofuel, the company added. Peter Keyes, vice president of solid wood products for IFP said, ‘Biomass is the fastest growing segment of our business, and we are using our global reach to provide tangible results for the Phaunos pellet plant in Serbia. This facility is the next generation in biomass production, sustainably using forest floor resources from untapped supply basins.’ IFP forest products trading firm operates over four continents with worldwide coverage. Phaunos is a Guernsey-domiciled authorised closed-ended investment scheme that has raised approximately $560m through share placing.
HC&S receives $4m for biofuel resarch
bioenergy: deal news
Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) is working with the University of Hawaii and various federal agencies on new Hawaii-based research initiatives for biofuels. The company will receive annual federal funding of at least $4m that will be made available through two separate programmes, one funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the other by the Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR), to conduct research at HC&S. The $2m DOE annual funding will be directed to research energy crop development and energy conversion technologies to be conducted by the University’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. The ONR funding, also $2m annually, will support complementary crop and technology assessments, as well as an evaluation of long-term resource requirements for biomass production, said the company.
Bioenergy: deal news
Laxai Pharma ceases biofuel operations US contract research organisation Laxai Pharma has ceased its biofuel operations and simultaneously completed a $3.6m asset purchase of OSR Solutions, financed by the sale of debt and equity securities, to concentrate on the pharmaceutical industry. ‘We have acquired the assets of OSR Solutions, a New Jersey-based contract research organisation with over $6m unaudited 2009 revenue, and we expect to demonstrate our business leadership in the CRO sector in the years to come by pursuing both internal growth, as well as synergistic acquisitions,’ said Ram Ajjarapu, executive chairman of Laxai. The company said it now has 60.1 million common shares issued and outstanding in OSR in addition to a warrant to purchase 5.8 million common shares issued to a lender of the company, and no other equity or equity linked securities have been issued.
Allylix raises $9m in Series C funding San Diego, US-based green chemical developer Allylix has completed its Series C financing and has in total raised $9m. The company received $3m in additional investment from new investor Middleland Capital and existing investors Blue Grass Angels, Life Science Angels, Tech Coast Angels, Pasadena Angels, and Tate & Lyle Ventures. Allylix said that securing the latest funding will allow the company to commercialise and advance its green chemical products. The company’s platform is applicable to a range of products including biofuels. The company said it is able to develop products quickly with only incremental investment in each new product. With 29 proprietary technology patents in operation, the company licensed its technology for use in specific biofuels products in 2008.
Westport creates $48.4m through TPC warrants
Westport is a global supplier of products that allow clean-burning fuels such as compressed natural gas, liquified natural gas, hydrogen and biofuels such as landfill gas
NASDAQ-listed alternative fuel developer Westport Innovations has exercised 790,614 warrants at $10.65 per warrant, entitling each holder to one common share in the company and generating $8.4m in cash. The warrants were previously issued to Industry Canada, a department of the Canadian government, under its former Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) programme in which Westport received $18.9m to support the development of high-performance low-emissions engines for vehicles. As a result of the exercise, the total outstanding number of Westport common shares has increased to 39,325,853 from 38,535,239. Westport made its first annual payment of $1.35m in 2009 and under the terms of the TPC agreement, the company is obligated to pay the greater of $1.35m or 0.33 per cent of annual gross revenues until 31 March 2018.
Imperial extends acquisition of e-biofuels to secure funding Following US diversified-energy company Imperial Petroleum’s agreement to buy a full controlling interest in US biodiesel producer e-biofuels, the companies have mutually extended the closing of the acquisition. Initially due to close at the end of March 2010, the new close of the agreement under which Imperial is due to pay two million shares of its common stock and issue promissory notes of $3.5m to the owners of e-biofuels, is slated for 30 April 2010 to allow more time to complete due diligence and funding commitments. Under the terms of the initial agreement, Imperial will pay two million shares of its common stock and issue
promissory notes of $3.5m to the owners of e-biofuels for full control of the company. The principal management of e-biofuels will remain in place and it will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Imperial following the close of the deal. ‘Our original closing date of 31 March 2010 was slightly aggressive for an acquisition of this size and we simply need a little more time to complete all the paperwork, including the final funding commitment from our lender,’ said Jeffrey T Wilson, president of Imperial. ‘We’re very excited about completing this acquisition and implementing our plans to expand the e-biofuels’ plant capacity to 25 million gallons per year.’
bioenergy: Company news
Global biofuel company PetroAlgae has signed an agreement with Asesorias e Inversiones Quilicura (AIQ), a major shareholder in Chilean public transport company Subus Chile, to enable the development in Chile of a micro-crop technology system for the large-scale production of green gasoline and jet fuel. Under the agreement, AIQ has an option to purchase a licence to build a full micro-crop technology system for commercially producing biofuels and protein from PetroAlgae. PetroAlgae’s microcrop technology is designed to produce a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels and a protein co-product. The protein byproduct of PetroAlgae’s technology is used for animal feed with the potential
for development into a food supply. ‘Today, attention and large-scale investment have turned toward the potential of micro-crops,’ said Andres De Carcer of AIQ. ‘We are certain that PetroAlgae’s technology, which produces commercialscale biomass that can be converted into green fuels in normal refineries, is at the forefront of this sector.’ Micro-crops avoid the problems of macro-crops, such as corn and soy, which compete with food supply and consume greater amounts of land and water, said PetroAlgae. Chile is seeking to reduce its dependence on imports and giving increased attention to renewable replacements for fossil fuel that can be developed indigenously, the company added.
Biomass provider DP Cleantech to supply technology for power plants in Philippines Biomass power plant solution provider DP Cleantech has been selected by the Philippines to supply its technology for two biomass power plants. The agreement was signed alongside Global Green Power (GGPC) and Poyry Energy for two 17.5MW multi-fuelled biomass plants to be located in Iloilo and Nueva Ecija. The letter of intent includes another 35MW plant in Bukidnon, DP Cleantech said. The biomass power plants will provide grid connected, renewable energy, using agricultural waste as an indigenous fuel. DP Clean tech’s sales manager, Jerome le-Borgne said the project represents an important milestone for the company, as it is the company’s first project in South East Asia. ‘We engage with our customers as partners and will leverage our experience in biomass power plant operations and management to help GGPC achieve the best results,’ le-Borgne said.
Homestead retained by Freedom to develop US Green Machine biofuel refinery Pink Sheets-listed US Freedom Environmental Services has retained Homestead to assist in the development of its Green Machine biofuel refinery. The company said it wants to process and recycle commodities such as used vegetable oil, grease and other waste products to use as renewable fuel, and has been in discussions with Homestead to determine the best way to rollout its biofuel model.
Freedom’s president Michael Borish said, ‘By retaining Homestead as our biofuel consultants, Freedom is demonstrating its commitment to the environment and the company’s green approach to waste management.’ Freedom recently signed a contract for 26 acres of land in Brevard County for the purpose of constructing a waste to energy facility and full service wastewater treatment.
Small scale wasteto-energy plants advantageous to UK Small scale waste-to-energy solutions are the future of biomass operations in the UK, renewable energy company New Earth Solutions Group said. Alex Young, energy director at New Earth, said larger installations cut across government policies to reduce waste. ‘The larger your installation, the more difficult it becomes to deliver it,’ Young said. ‘This is mainly on the grounds of public acceptance, particularly around the technology choices for the generators as they need to be of a certain scale and draw in a certain quantity of fuel to make them effective.’ In addition, Young said he sees an increasing importance in locating facilities near to where the energy will be used. ‘We believe locating plants near where the energy is required is very important. With wind farms and other technologies in the far north of the UK, you have got to get it down to where it is needed and that takes a lot of energy in itself.’ New Earth Solutions Group is a UK business comprising waste treatment company New Earth Solutions and renewable energy company New Earth Energy. New Earth Solutions helps local authorities to meet their obligations to divert waste under the EU Landfill Directive and contributes to composting and recycling rates. Meanwhile, New Earth Energy employs thermal technologies to support the use of waste-derived feedstock for renewable power plants, and combined heat and power schemes for public and private customers. In December, the company received $4m from low-carbon investor Carbon Trust Investments. Following this, the company completed the second closing of its £15m equity fundraising announced in August 2009. This followed a £5m investment in September 2009 by AIM-listed clean technology investment company Ludgate Environmental Fund. In December, the company closed two projects with £20m of investment, including about £13.5m of senior debt by Norddeutsche Landesbank.
PetroAlgae grants Chile’s AIQ micro-crop technology licence
Bioenergy: company news
AW Jenkinson, Stobart create biofuel distribution venture UK green waste processor AW Jenkinson Forest Products has created a new joint venture with UK logistics company the Stobart Group to source and distribute biomass fuel to the UK renewable energy market. The new company will source and distribute primarily low-grade recycled fibre and waste-derived products. It has already signed a contract to supply up to 750,000 tonnes a year to ten potential sites over the next 20 years. Allan Jenkinson, sole proprietor of AW Jenkinson, said he will retain a 50 per cent share of the new business, which will be named Stobart Biomass Products.
UOP and Indian Oil collaborate on Indian biofuel development NYSE-listed global technology developer and Honeywell International subsidiary UOP has signed an agreement with Indian Oil Corporation, under which the two companies will collaborate on R&D for a range of biofuels technologies and projects in India. The companies will evaluate the installation of a demonstration-scale unit to produce green transportation fuels at an existing Indian Oil site using non-food Indian feedstocks, the companies said. Indian Oil will focus on R&D for the production of algal oil for use as a feedstock in the green fuels production under the agreement, and the two companies will also evaluate the viability of pyrolysis oil technology to convert plant biomass into renewable power and heat. Indian Oil said it is committed to reducing the carbon footprint of its business operations at least by 25 per cent from the present level, a move it said is necessary for sustaining the growth of the business.
Stobart’s new company will distribute low grade recycled fibre and waste-derived products
Jenkinson said, ‘This is the perfect partnership to take the business to the next level and capitalise on the huge growth in energy generation from renewable sources. ‘This deal gives us access to Stobart
Group’s multimodal logistics strength and expertise in the UK, which is a critical part of the biomass business, as well as giving us increased scale and credibility with the large energy producers who need long-term secure supply of biomass products. That, coupled with the strong cultural fit, creates a solid foundation for the future success of the new company.’ Stobart Group took a £30m controlling share in the new company, paid for half in shares and half in cash, which it expects to regain in revenues within three years according to reports. Pre-empting the joint venture, the two companies reportedly ordered 1,000 Scania trucks through a joint agreement in January 2010.
Large scale biomass may hurt UK’s economy and environment, report says Large-scale biomass plants may have a detrimental effect on the UK environment and economy, releasing millions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, a new report said. The independent report by analyst John Clegg Consulting looks at future demand from existing wood-using businesses and new large and medium biomass energy plants within the UK. It said total wood production in the UK is expected to peak at about 20 million tonnes around 2019 with demand from existing markets at a similar level. Large-scale biomass plants proposed in the UK would need at least 27 million tonnes of additional wood every year, it found. Plans to increase biomass production include E.ON’s proposal to build a 150MW plant at Portbury Dock and Helius Energy’s site at Avonmouth Dock. The report said large-scale biomass plants such as these alone would use up projected wood supplies and that the opportunity to import wood is severely limited.
CNPC to increase clean energy production China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said it will expand its clean energy division and raise its annual capacity to 1.25 million tonnes of oil equivalent, according to reports. The Chinese oil major said by 2015 it will exceed six million tonnes of oil equivalent derived from coalbed methane, shell gas and fuel ethanol, according to recent news reports. Of these coalbed methane will constitute the majority of the company’s focus, the news service said, citing Shanghai Securities News as the original source. CNPC already has one ethanol plant, located in the northern province of Jilin, that produces 500,000 tonnes annually.
bioenergy: company news
Biofuel company Cobalt Technologies has announced it is the first company to produce a drop-in replacement for petroleum and petrochemicals from beetleaffected lodgepole pine and has signed a fuel testing partnership with Colorado State University (CSU) to test the fuel’s viability for commercial vehicles. ‘With this breakthrough, we’ve been able to turn a problem into an opportunity,’ said Rick Wilson, CEO, Cobalt Technologies. ‘Harvesting beetle-killed trees could produce low-carbon fuels and chemicals, establish a foundation for a sustainable biorefinery industry and create jobs, particularly in rural areas. If we use only half of the 2.3 million acres currently affected in Colorado alone, we could produce over two billion gallons of biobutanol – enough to blend into all the gasoline used in Colorado for six years.’ Cobalt Technologies converts non-food feedstock, such as forest waste and mill residues into n-butanol that can be used as a biofuel to be blended with gasoline, diesel and ethanol; converted into jet fuel or plastics, or sold for use in paints, cleaners, adhesives and flavourings. The company said its technology offers the potential for converting beetle-destroyed pine into biofuel. Cobalt Technologies has partnered with Colorado State University to perform engine testing with a gasoline-butanol blend made with the biobutanol from beetle-killed wood. The fuel testing will be performed at Colorado State University’s engines and energy conversion laboratory under the auspices of the University’s Sustainable Bioenergy Development Center.
FourWinds to raise €150m to invest in waste-to-energy FourWinds Capital Management, a growth-stage private equity firm, will aim to raise up to €150m this year to invest in its waste-focused fund as it looks to target a 20 per cent investment return, its head of UK Chris Armitage has said. Armitage said the priority for the coming months for FourWinds was fundraising as it looks to tap into the growing waste-to-energy market. FourWinds has already raised €49m but is looking to raise a further €100m to €150m before closing the fund. ‘We are taking the pipeline to potential investors in UK, mainland Europe and Scandinvia, in addition to Australia and Canada,’ Armitage said. He added the client base is typically pension funds, family offices and banks. ‘Municipals tend to have a definite waste need and therefore pension funds understand the proposition,’ Armitage said. FourWinds already manages the Ceres
GDF Suez to build world’s largest biomass plant Global energy provider GDF Suez said it is to build the world’s largest power station fuelled entirely by biomass in Poland. The plant, to be called the Green Unit, will have a production capacity of 190MW and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.2 million tonnes per year. GDF has signed a contract with engineering and construction firm Foster Wheeler for the installation that will burn wood and agri-fuels. The Green Unit will be located in Polaniec in south-east Poland at the site of GDF Suez’s 1,800MW co-fired power station set to come into operation by the end of December 2012. The plant will strengthen Poland’s commitment to produce more than 15 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, the company said. Foster Wheeler will design and construct the circulating fluidised bed boiler, which it said is the first of its kind in the world capable of burning only biomass fuels.
Cobalt Technologies signs fuel testing partnership with CSU
NREL and 3M sign agreement for energy research
Lydia Whyatt, managing director, FourWinds Capital Management
Agriculture Fund, the Phaunos Timber Fund and the Aqua Resources fund. Lydia Whyatt, managing director, environmental group, said the company generally looks for an exit four to five years after making an initial investment. ‘We are looking at businesses that are established and need capital. Wasteto-energy is going to be a much bigger topic than it is now.’
The US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has announced a series of cooperative biofuel research and development agreements with Minnesotabased technology company 3M. The agreements between NREL and 3M establish joint investigations into innovation in biofuels, as well as thinfilm photovoltaics and concentrating solar power. The cooperative research and development agreements, which last for one year, range from jointly identifying and developing critical aspects of renewable energy technology to accelerated testing of 3M designs and scaling-up successful prototype technologies for commercial production.
energy efficiency: DEAL news
energy efficiency news
International Forestry Fund makes first UK acquisition in Scottish forest
The International Forestry Fund, a joint venture between Dublin-based IFS Asset Managers and Swiss asset management firm Helvetia Wealth, has acquired forest land in Falkirk, Scotland, for an undisclosed sum. The purchase of the Rashiehill and Shielknowes Forest in Falkirk, Stirlingshire, is the fund’s first UK acquisition. Its diversified forestry portfolio includes a range of species differing in age from predominantly Sitka spruce forests in the UK and Ireland to sustainably managed tropical hardwood timbers such as teak, mahogany and rosewood in Central America. Created in March 2009, The International Forestry Fund manages in excess of €100m in forestry assets on behalf of
The IFF’s portfolio includes a diverse range of forestry from the British Isles and Central America
individual and corporate clients in Ireland and is committed to the principles of ethical forestry certification, especially for itstropical hardwoods. ‘It is that success which led to Bertie Ahern, the former Prime Minister of Ireland, agreeing to becoming chairman of
the International Forestry Fund earlier this year,’ said Paul Brosnan, co-founder and of IFS, which was established in 1997, and director of the International Forestry Fund. ‘The Scottish Executive’s ongoing commitment to forestry was a key influencer in the fund’s decision to invest.’ The Scottish Executive has a target of 50 per cent of all Scotland’s electricity being produced from renewable resources by 2020.The International Forestry Fund, which provides access to globally diversified sustainable forestry for institutional and individual investors, is also available to self-invested personal pensions in the UK via a unit trust structure that it said benefits investors due to a low correlation with equities and bonds, as well as an excellent hedge against inflation.
Display developer Liquavista raises €7m
Bank of Ireland seed fund leads investment in ResourceKraft
Netherlands-based low energy management display developer Liquavista has closed a Series D funding round, raising €7m from existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners, GIMV, Prime Technology Ventures and Applied Ventures. The additional funding is aimed at accelerating commercialisation and supporting Liquavista’s strategy to have products on the market in 2011, said the company. ‘This next round of funding is specifically aimed at enabling us to accelerate our commercialisation of next generation LCD2.0 displays,’ said Liquavista CEO Guy Demuynck. ‘Our investors have been impressed with the interest in Liquavista from players in the smart mobile device industry. Combined with very strong demand for our system development kits, this gave them the confidence to further support our drive into our main strategic markets in 2010. Liquavista’s roduct technology platforms are well-suited for the next generation of e-reading energy management devices, the company said.
The Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund has led a €600,000 investment in Limerick-based energy cost control technology specialist ResourceKraft, committing €500,000, with the remainder funds raised through government organisation Enterprise Ireland. ResourceKraft CEO Frank Casey said, ‘The funding from the Bank of Ireland Seed Fund will be to recruit additional software developers to join our team and to expand our market coverage beyond Ireland and the UK.’ Resourcekraft, founded by University of Limerick postgraduate Liam Relihan and Frank Casey in April 2007, delivers energy management software that aims to maximise the efficiency of energy resources such as oil, gas, water and heat. It has so far been deployed in more than 40 sites. The company said it will also be moving its headquarters to the University of Limerick campus. University of Limerick president Don Barry said, ‘This investment in ResourceKraft epitomises the type of innovation-based start-ups that the University of Limerick Foundation is keen to support through our investment in the Bank of Ireland Seed Fund. ResourceKraft was born out of scientific research carried out in the University of Limerick in 2007 and creating success from university spin-outs like this one is crucial if we’re to spark new growth and job creation opportunities in Ireland.’ Established in 2007 and based in Limerick, ResourceKraft is an energy cost control company delivering business intelligence systems that assists large organisations to measure and reduce their energy usage. Managed on behalf of Bank of Ireland and venture capital firm Kernel Capital Bank, Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund, launched in November 2009, is a €26m fund established to invest in start-up and early stage companies with a focus on export orientated high potential start-up companies that operate in the technology, food and financial services sectors.
Energy efficiency: DEAL news
German electric vehicle drive-train producer Clean Mobile has raised €6.6m in follow-up financing from a consortium of venture investors, including Belgiumbased fund Capital-E and France’s Emertec Gestion. These new venture funds join the existing syndicate of Earlybird, High Tech Gründerfonds and Silicon Valley Technology Group (SVTG). Munich-based Clean Mobile, which works with more than a dozen vehicle brands, said the new funding round is intended to finance the company´s further growth. After product development and first field tests in 2008 and early 2009, it started to commercialise its energy efficient electric drive-train products for light electric vehicles such as electric bikes, scooters and cargo vehicles. Its products incorporate battery management, optimised electrical drives and integrated vehicle management systems. Werner Gruber, CEO of Clean Mobile, said, ‘Clean Mobile has entered into a phase of accelerated growth. This funding round will provide the resources to meet the demand from our customers and to further expand our product portfolio. We are excited to have acquired Capital-E and Emertec Gestion as two further value-adding investors with relevant industry know-how and experience. We are also proud of the continued commitment of Earlybird, High Tech Gründerfonds and SVTG.’ Rudi Severijns, partner of Capital-E, added, ‘The significant increase in public awareness for light electrical vehicles like E-bikes, an excellent and cohesive team, innovative and already proven technology, as well as a multitude of contracted customers were the perfect mix for us to decide for and go with Clean Mobile.’ Emertec is a venture capital firm with €120m under management. It focuses on early stage investments incleantech and mobility technologies.
Pacific Road Capital Management takes stake in Carbon Energy
Non-direct investing proves popular for private equity firms Non-direct plays in the clean technology space are becoming popular in the private equity space, according investors. Investing in companies that have traditionally worked in other areas of the energy space or in companies involved further down the supply chain are increasingly attractive opportunities, private equity firms said. Nino Tronchetti Provera, founding partner at investment fund Ambienta, said many of the companies he has invested in have existed for more than 20 years, predominantly in other business areas. ‘They have been doing energy efficiency as part of a traditional business but did not have the opportunity to expand that part of the business until a few years ago,’ he said. Christopher Hunt, a managing director at energy-focused private equity firm Riverstone Holdings said it pays to be opportunistic and, particularly in the US, look for distressed deals or in the solar industry invest in downstream businesses.
energy efficiency news
Energy efficiency developer Clean Mobile raises €6.6m
InnoWare Plastic bought from Norwest
Pacific Road was acquired in an off-market trade from CSIRO
Australian private equity fund manager Pacific Road Capital Management has agreed to acquire ten per cent of coal gasification company Carbon Energy from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in an off-market trade. Pacific Road, which manages the $320m Pacific Road Resources Fund 1 investing in mining projects, related infrastructure and services businesses, said it may elect to transfer some of this position
to an investor or investors in its funds. Carbon Energy’s managing director Andrew Dash said, ‘Pacific Road’s investment in Carbon Energy follows a six-month comprehensive due diligence process and is a strong third party endorsement of the company’s strategy and its UCG technology. We are particularly pleased to have Pacific Road as an investor as they bring to the table valuable business expertise as well as their access to networks and resources.’
Packaging company Solo Cup, a portfolio company of private equity firms Vestar Capital Partners and BAML Capital Partners, has acquired eco container manufacturer InnoWare Plastic. No financial terms of the all-stock deal were disclosed. Solo will acquire InnoWare Plastic for $24m in cash from InnoWare, a manufacturer of disposable foodservice products owned by Norwest Equity Partners, a Minneapolis-based middle market private equity investor. ‘The acquisition of InnoWare Plastic will enhance our existing take-out offerings and expand the base upon which we can accelerate growth via our existing distributor and operator relationships,’ said Robert Korzenski, president and CEO, Solo Cup Company.
energy efficiency: DEAL news
energy efficiency news
EBRD offers loans to support energy efficiency improvements The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which has recently issued a raft of sustainable energy finance facilities to Eastern European countries including Slovakia, Moldova and Serbia, has provided a new €10m loan to Romanian bank Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) for on-lending to private companies seeking to improve energy efficiency. The loan is supplementing a similar €20m credit line offered by the EBRD in 2008 to BCR, majority-owned by the Austrian Erste Group. Extended under the EU/EBRD Energy Efficiency Finance Facility framework, a grant-supported financing line for Romania from the European Commission and the EBRD, the loan will be used to finance energy efficiency investments undertaken by Romanian businesses with long-term loans worth up to €2.5m each. The new project will enable Romanian companies to maximise energy savings, mitigate the impact of rising energy prices and to improve their overall competitiveness, the EBRD said. With the support of grant financing
Energy efficiency company EPS files for $25m IPO Energy and Power Solutions (EPS), a Costa Mesa, California-based provider of energy efficiency solutions to the industrial market, has filed for a $25m IPO. At the time of printing the company has not enlisted underwriters. The offer comes shortly after the company reported around $12m in revenue for fiscal 2009, compared to more than $17m in 2008 revenue. Shareholders in EPS include NGEN Partners, SAM Private Equity and Altira Group, which joined other investors in funding wind turbine developer Southwest Windpower’s global expansion in 2009.
EBRD’s latest €10m loan to the BCR is supplemental to the €20m credit line supplied in 2008
from the EU, sub-borrowers undertaking sustainable energy investments will be eligible for an incentive payment from the EBRD of up to 15 per cent of the amount of their investment on completion of the works. With the support of the initial loan from the EBRD, BCR has financed 14 energy efficiency projects, enabling clients to reduce their energy bills and cut emissions by up to 60 per cent per year and improve their overall productivity. ‘Reducing energy intensity is a high
priority for the EBRD in Romania, which has a substantial potential for energy efficiency improvements. We are pleased to continue our successful co-operation with BCR by extending new financing for sustainable energy projects,’ said Jean-Marc Peterschmitt, EBRD director for financial institutions. ‘The successful implementation of the first energy efficiency facility was based on strong efforts undertaken by BCR in this respect,’ said Wolfgang Schoiswohl, executive vice-president of BCR.
Glacier Bay closes $15m financing US intelligent power management technology developer Glacier Bay has closed $15m in a Series C financing round led by City Light Capital, with participation from US venture capital investors The Westly Group and New Enterprise Associates (NEA). The company said the proceeds will be used to fund the growth of ClimaCab, an efficient climate control system for the trucking industry, and strategic new product initiatives. ‘This is an exciting time of growth for Glacier Bay. Our products are providing immediate operating savings during these challenging economic times, while simultaneously helping the planet by reducing greenhouse gases.
This additional capital will go towards expanding ClimaCab sales and creating innovative new products that use our technology,’ said Marc Hoffman, CEO of Glacier Bay. ClimaCab is an all-electric auxiliary power unit (APU) climate control system for Class-8 trucks designed to provide air conditioning and heating during driver rest periods without idling the main truck engine, which uses batteries unlike diesel-powered APUs. Trucks with ClimaCab reduce idle times up to 85 per cent and use over 3,000 gallons less fuel per year, said Glacier Bay. City Light Capital is a venture firm that targets early stage investments in the science, energy and environment sectors.
Landis+Gyr raises $165m to support smart meter rollout
GreenWizard raises $1.15m in Series A round
Swiss smart meter developer Landis+Gyr had signed an agreement to raise an additional $165m in capital to support smart metering rollouts worldwide. The transaction is expected to close by mid-April 2010. Joining Landis+Gyr’s global base of existing shareholders for this round of investing is DLJ Merchant Banking, a division of Credit Suisse’s Asset Management division. ‘Energy conservation is the critical fifth fuel, as global energy demand continues to outpace supply, and smart meters are an essential ingredient in addressing the imbalance,’ said Landis+Gyr CEO, Cameron O’Reilly. ‘Over the past year, and despite the severe global economic downturn, we have been able to raise more than $250m in capital designed to invest in the continued growth of Landis+Gyr.’ The company recently reported annual product sales of more than $1.25bn.
GreenWizard, a provider of an online system that helps architects, engineers and contractors to build greener structures, has raised $1.15m in Series A funding led by Zygote Ventures. The company, which has developed a web-based system that supports LEED and green commercial construction, closed the financing round of private investment from a syndicate of venture capital funds and angel investors. Zygote Ventures, based in San Rafael, California, led an angel investment round in the company last year. ‘GreenWizard offers an entirely unique, cross-search and compare database for a construction market that is very eager for tools to navigate through LEED and other green-product choices,’ said Zygote Ventures’ Jerry Fiddler. ‘We see an expansive opportunity for GreenWizard, as demonstrated by the immediate receptivity we have already seen for GreenWizard among the AEC community,’ he added.
Landis+Gyr has recently announced a contract with British Gas to provide the first one million electricity and gas meters of the UK’s mandated 47 million meter rollout
Carbon Trust leads £1.45m venture deal in network optimisation UK specialist Arieso UK low carbon investor the Carbon Trust Investments has invested £1.45m in wireless network optimisation provider Arieso, alongside existing investors Oxford Capital Partners, ADD Partners and Qualcomm Ventures. The investment will be used to help develop optimised networks to manage large data volumes, while also avoiding interference between base stations. Arieso’s product portfolio enables mobile network operators to understand service levels and optimise networks. The company’s GEO product monitors and locates the geography of all calls made in a wireless network, enabling them to identify hotspots where infill network capacity is required or where antennae positioning could be optimised to reduce power, reducing both capex and opex. Arieso is headquartered in Newbury, with offices in the US and Hong Kong.
Arieso’s product locates the geography of all calls made in a wireless network
Earlier this year, the Carbon Trust invested £7m in a consortium of biofuel companies led by Axion Energy. Rachael Nutter of CT Investment Part-
energy efficiency news
Energy efficiency: DEAL news
ners said, ‘Energy consumption in mobile phone base stations is a significant proportion of the opex of mobile operators, as high as 50 per cent in the most extreme cases. Arieso’s technology tackles this while improving service levels. We are excited about the potential for rapid scale-up of this technology on the back of a number of highly successful demonstrations.’ Arieso CEO and co-founder Shirin Dehghan added, ‘This investment will allow us to ramp up our team and take advantage of our recent success in the field to deliver full-scale rollouts.’ In a recent trial, Arieso’s software enabled 48 per cent power reduction, a 75 per cent increase in data throughput and 64 per cent fewer sites requiring additional 50W carriers, which are installed to boost wireless signals particularly in urban areas.
energy efficiency: DEAL news
energy efficiency news
OCAS Ventures completes first round investment in fuel cell company Borit
‘The substantial funding of Borit will enable the company to enter the market at full industrial and commercial strength,’ said Dirk De Boever, partner at OCAS Ventures. ‘The partnership with borit Leichtbau-Technik and OCAS puts Borit in a position to deliver great added value to its customers from the stage of conception and first samples up to high volume industrial production.’ Based in Belgium, OCAS Ventures manages early stage investment fund Finindus, which is backed by two longterm shareholders, ArcelorMittal and the Flemish Region.
European early stage venture fund manager OCAS Ventures has completed the first round of funding for fuel cell technology supplier Borit, through its investment fund Finindus. ‘The investment is in the middle of the pack, it’s not our largest but certainly not our smallest,’ Philippe Vercruyssen, partner at OCAS Ventures, said. ‘It is the first round of investment in technology that is especially useful for the production of blades used in fuel cells,’ he added. Borit supplies customised metal parts requiring accurate forming such as metallic flow plates for fuel cells, elec-
trolysers and heat exchangers, serving customers in applications for fuel cell stacks, consumer electronics, building materials and industrial packaging. Borit’s core technology is based on a patented hydroforming press concept developed by Dr Dirk Bohmann and borit Leichtbau-Technik of Aachen, Germany. Borit works with borit Leichtbau-Technik in the areas of product and process development and is supported by OCAS’s advanced metal research centre located in Belgium with expertise on material selection, sheet metal processing, modelling, simulation and co-engineering capabilities.
Battery developer Sakti raises $7m
Canadian waste processor EWS sells final prototype permit to Ellisin for $1m
Michigan-based next generation lithium-ion battery developer Sakti3 has completed a $7m Series B round of financing. The company said that the capital, from new investor Beringea and previous investor Khosla Ventures, will fund the expansion of its Michigan-based research, development and manufacturing capabilities. ‘These funds will enable us to continue to develop our technology and manufacturing capabilities,’ said Dr Ann Marie Sastry, CEO of Sakti3. ‘We are scaling and continuing to build our team from our base in Michigan.’ The investment from Beringea was made through the InvestMichigan! Growth Capital fund, a $175m economic growth initiative that provides expansion-stage capital to promising emerging businesses in Michigan. ‘Sakti3 presents a fantastic Michigan story: some of the most innovative technology and talent from the University of Michigan is successfully building a business to speed electrification of vehicles, helping position Michigan to lead the next phase of growth in the automotive market, an industry still critical to Michigan’s future,’ said Jeff Bocan, managing director at new investor Beringea.
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian waste disposal company Environmental Waste International (EWS) has sold the final environmental permit for the TR900 prototype tyre processing plant in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, to Ellsin Environmental for $1m. Ellsin has now received all environmental permits from the Ontario Ministry of Environment required to operate the prototype and construct a building to house the processing plant. EWS has completed the design stage of the prototype system and hired a project manager to oversee the fabrication, assembly and commissioning phases of the project. Having already begun testing the system earlier this year, project vendor EWS has contracted Rockwell Automation to oversee the design and development of the system’s electronic and monitoring controls, and will also select a manufacturer for the project. The prototype plant is designed to use EWS’ reverse polymerisation process to breakdown 900 tyres per day and fuel the system with waste gases from the process.
$1bn Japanese smart grid trial enlists Toyota, Panasonic and Toshiba The organisers of a ¥100bn ($1.1bn) smart grid trial in Japan have enlisted electronic giants Toyota Motor, Panasonic and Toshiba to take part, according to recent news reports. The trial will include a central ¥56bn project where smart meters, electric charging stations and 27MW solar panels will be installed in homes in Yokohama, Japan, the report said.
Another three trials will take place in Kyoto, Aichi and Kitakyushu, costing between ¥10bn and ¥20bn each. The Japanese government will put forward the first ¥4bn towards the trials before the end of 2010, which may be increased in 2011, the report added. The Japanese government is aiming for ten per cent of its energy to derive from renewable energy generation by 2020.
Punch Powertrain secures €24m in funding for CVTs
Apax buys 20 per cent in energy advisor Finance In Motion
European private equity and venture capital firm Gimv and pan-European clean technology fund Capricorn Venture Partners have invested €24m in energy efficiency company Punch Powertrain for the further development and commercialisation of its continually variable transmission (CVT) drivetrains. ‘Punch Powertrain has laid the foundation for innovative solutions in the field of hybrid and electric vehicles; which are essential technologies contributing to the reduction of CO2 emission of vehicles,’ said Jos Peeters, managing partner at Capricorn Venture Partners. Acquired by Punch International in 2006, Belgium-based Punch Powertrain is an independent manufacturer of CVT systems for cars now majority-owned by investor LRM, also located in Belgium. Since carrying out a capital increase of €7m in May 2009 to obtain 30 per cent of the company’s shares, LRM exercised its option on the remaining 70 per cent of the shares, causing Punch International to withdraw from the shareholding. LRM remains a reference shareholder following the new investment. Gimv’s investment is its second in a supplier to the automotive industry, also in collaboration with LRM.
The charity of global private equity firm Apax Partners, Apax Foundation, has purchased a 20 per cent stake in the share capital of German renewable energy development asset finance firm, Finance in Motion, in exchange for a capital increase. The relationship will allow Finance in Motion to draw on Apax Partner’s global network and market presence, base of investors and private equity expertise to develop new commercially viable products and services in development finance, particularly in the area of equity investments, the company said in a statement. Focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy and SME financing, Finance in Motion offers specialised investment advisory services in the management of investment vehicles that have a positive social impact in developing countries. Advising investment funds with a total committed capital of over €800m, Finance in Motion is majority-owned by management and staff, and backed by private bank Sal Oppenheim as cofounder and shareholder. ‘The Apax Foundation’s charitable donations are focused on social enterprise projects around the world. We wanted to bolster our support for this area by investing up to 20 per cent of the Foundation’s assets in social investments as opposed to straight commercial investments. Our investment in Finance in Motion is the first such and we are delighted to be investing in a way that will generate a positive social impact as well as a financial return,’ said Michael Phillips, managing partner of Apax Partners and trustee of the Apax Foundation. Through the investment, Michael Phillips will be appointed to the supervisory board of Finance in Motion as the representative of Apax, joining chairman Dr Klaus Maurer, deputy chairman Dr Wolfgang Leoni, a managing director at Sal Oppenheim Jr & Cie Verwaltungs, and Dr Christian Cornett, partner at law firm SJ Berwin.
CODA Automative and Lishen Power Battery secure $394m
Capital will industrialise CODA’s power system for commercial volume production
California-based electric car and battery company CODA Automotive and joint venture partner lithium-ion cell developer Lishen Power Battery have secured $394m in committed capital. The joint venture has secured $100m in committed equity capital and received a commitment for a $294m line of credit from the Bank of Tianjin Joint-Stock Co. The capital will enable industry battery supplier Lishen, whose customers include Apple, Samsung, Motorola and Vodafone, to industrialise the all-electric CODA car’s power system for commercial volume production and support its ability to mass manufacture transportation and utility power stor-
age battery systems, said the company. ‘This capital strengthens the strategic position of our joint venture and allows us to meet the rising global demand for automotive-grade lithiumion battery and utility power storage systems,’ said Kevin Czinger, president and CEO, CODA Automotive. ‘The US and China face tremendous security and environmental challenges that we intend to address by combining our complementary capabilities and skills,’ he added. CODA Automotive, which to date has raised in excess of $100m in capital, is slated to begin deliveries of its zero tailpipe emissions all-electric car in the fourth quarter of 2010.
energy efficiency news
Energy efficiency: DEAL news
energy efficiency: deal news
energy efficiency news
Cooper acquires wireless developer Eka Systems Cooper Industries has acquired the assets of Maryland-based Eka Systems, which provides wireless networking technologies for smart grid communication applications. The deal is the fourth acquisition Cooper Industries has made into its Energy Automation Solutions (EAS) business. ‘Eka Systems’ RF wireless networking capabilities are a perfect complement to our existing EAS platform, which has approximately $200m in annual revenues and continues to experience double-digit growth,’ said Cooper Industries chairman and CEO Kirk S Hachigian. ‘While the Eka Systems technology has limited existing deployments, this acquisition represents a long-term commitment to this space, as we plan to make significant additional organic investments in this product line to further enhance our competitive position in the market.’
Ecofactor closes $3.5m investment led by Rockport Energy management software provider Ecofactor has closed $3.5m in financing led by clean technology investor Rockport Capital Partners. The deal comes just months after it secured $2.4m in financing led by Claremont Creek Ventures in December 2009 and saw Claremont increase its investment in the second closing. The Series A round will help EcoFactor execute on commercial deployments of its residential energy management service, it said. Abe Yokell, principal at Rockport, said it had been actively evaluating energy management and smart grid companies for more than five years. ‘EcoFactor’s solution delivers tremendous consumer value at low cost, while providing opportunities for channel partners to tap into lucrative new income streams.
UK fuel cell company Bac2 raises £1m
Bac2 manufactures bi-polar plates, essential components for fuel cells
UK fuel cell technology manufacturer Bac2 has completed the first closing of an issue of ordinary shares led by London-based Fair-Lead Partners. The fundraising has secured commitments to date from new and existing investors to purchase ordinary shares at £110 per share, raising a total of £1m. The company said the funding round will remain open for further subscriptions until 10 May 2010. The new funds will support the growing commercialisation of Bac2’s fuel cell components business and the continuing development of new
applications for its materials portfolio, which includes ElectroPhen, a patented conductive polymer, and the CSR family of latent acid catalysts that can be used to control polymerisation. Bac2’s CEO Mike Stannard said, ‘I am delighted to see both the continued support of our existing shareholders and enthusiastic commitment from new investors, which will allow Bac2 to continue its exciting commercial progress.’ Bac2 uses ElectroPhen in the manufacture of bi-polar plates, essential components for fuel cells.
Green Bank raises $115m in private equity Green Bank, a Houston, US-based bank focused on midmarket green investments, has raised $115m in private equity funding from Friedman Fleischer & Lowe, Harvest Partners and Pine Brook Road Partners. Green Bancorp, the holding company for Green Bank, has entered into definitive agreements with several independent investment firms, providing for an aggregate investment of $115m in common stock of the company. Investors include funds affiliated with Friedman Fleischer & Lowe, Harvest Partners and Pine Brook Road Partners. No one firm will own more than 24.9 per cent of Green Bank’s common stock through the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, said the bank. ‘We are hopeful the transaction will close in the second quarter at which time additional capital will be added to Green Bank,’ said Manny Mehos, founder and chairman of the board of Green Bancorp. ‘The confidence of these new investors reinforces the banking model we have built over the past three years. Green Bank will bring much needed capital, managerial talent and proven products, and processes to a fragile banking industry.’
energy efficiency: deal NEWS
Alternative energy company Viaspace’s subsidiary Ionfinity has been awarded an additional $786,000 in funding from the US Navy under a previously awarded contract to develop a sensor with applications in environmental monitoring. The company has received notice that the US Navy will provide funding for an additional 18 months of development work, following the award of a competitively selected Phase II contract for 18 months in October 2008, in which Ionfinity received $492,000. To date, Ionfinity has been awarded more than $1.2m under this US Navy contract. Ionfinity CEO James Weiss said, ‘We believe the new sensor we are building will substantially raise the standard for future chemical detection and analysis, and at the same time make the sensor’s operation and performance much more convenient and timely.’ Weiss added that Ionfinity’s new sensor technology has commercial applications in environmental monitoring, agriculture, the security industry and medicine. Through its subsidiary Ionfinity, Viaspace is developing a sensitive miniaturised detector in a joint collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech, Sionex and Imaginative Technologies. In December 2009, Viaspace filed an amendment with the Securities and Exchange Commission to list its majority-owned subsidiary Viaspace Green Energy as a separately reporting public company.
UK clean technology company PhosphonicS secures £3.5m PhosphonicS, a spin-out from Queen Mary University of London, which uses proprietary chemistry to make novel materials, has secured second round financing of £3.5m. The investment was led by Seventure Partners with additional participation from existing backers Regents Park Partners, a LBS venture capital fund, and private investors. The second round funding was led by pan-European venture capital firm Seventure Partners in addition to existing investors and is the Phosphonics’ capital will fund precious metal first time that Seventure has catalyst recovery products invested in the UK. The company said the chemistry. The new capital will be used new capital will allow it to expand its principally to fund the global market core team, accelerate the launch of the development of a range of precious precious metal scavenger product range metal catalyst recovery products, the in international markets, and continue company said, to combat the loss of the development of industrial applicaexpensive metals such as platinum. tions based on its proprietary silica
Qatari Diar Fund invests in Veolia Environnement French environmental services company Veolia Environnement and the real estate investment arm of Qatari sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority’s Qatari Diar Fund have signed an agreement aiming at setting up a long-term strategic partnership, whereby Qatari Diar acquired a five per cent stake in Veolia Environnement’s capital. Antoine Frérot, CEO of Veolia Environnement, said, ‘Today’s agreement is an expression of the fund’s confidence in Veolia Environnement’s strategy of sustainable growth, as well as in our capacity to accompany the fund as it develops its presence in a region which is a priority for our group. Today’s agreement comes in the wake of our initial agreement with the Emirati Mubadala Fund in the water sector, which enabled the group to win a number of new contracts, and will strengthen Veolia Environnement’s position in a strategic area which continues to offer important growth opportunities, notably in obtaining public service contracts.’ The acquisition of the stake reflects the two groups’ mutual ambition to work together on infrastructure and utilities projects in the Middle East and North Africa, said the company. In the longer term, the partnership could also be extended to those countries in which the Qatari Diar fund has developed its presence, it added. Due to be appointed to Veolia Environnement’s board, Qatari Diar has indicated to Veolia Environnement that it will hold its stake and its voting rights for three years. ‘We intend to fully involve Veolia Environnement in the development of our projects in the Middle East, Europe and Africa where Qatari Diar already enjoys a significant presence, our objective being to leverage Veolia Environnement’s well-established expertise in public services and sustainable development,’ said Mohammed bin Ali Al Hedfa, CEO of Qatari Diar.
energy efficiency news
Viaspace awarded funds for environmental monitoring
energy efficiency: company news
energy efficiency news
Siemens Energy to conduct carbon study at Longview Power plant GenPower Holdings’ energy subsidiary Longview Power has selected Siemens Energy to conduct a carbon capture study on its 695MW electrical power generating facility – known as Longview Power – under construction in Maidsville, West Virginia. The study will analyse the applicability of post-combustion CO2 (POSTCAP) capture technology on the basis of the Siemens’ second generation amino acid salt solvent. As Siemens provided the air quality control system and power generation equipment for the project, it is in a unique position to optimise the existing air control system to accommodate the new POSTCAP technology, the company said. On track to become one of the cleanest, most efficient coal-fired power plants in the US once commercial oper-
Carbon trading not performing well, says HSBC index The climate change sector has underperformed in the area of global equities since the Copenhagen summit, which disappointed many observers as no legally binding treaty on carbon emissions was delivered, according to the latest quarterly review of the HSBC Global Climate Change Index. HSBC said the lack of a global agreement on emissions reduction has led the Index to question the validity of carbon trading as an investable theme. Instead, regional and country specific policies are shaping the pace and nature of investments, leading to pockets of both over and under performance in the climate change space, added HSBC. The major loser, however, has been the expected growth in carbon trading. ‘Post Copenhagen [the carbon trading sector] has fallen over 28 per cent,’ said Vijay Sumon, an index specialist at HSBC Global Research.
Siemens’ project incorporates numerous technological advances and process efficiences
ation starts in early 2011, the Longview Power project, an advanced supercritical pulverised coal power plant, cost approximately $2bn to develop, making it the largest privately-funded project in state history. Longview Power said its namesake
project was developed on the principle that abundant domestic energy reserves can be utilised in a safe, environmentally responsible manner. The project incorporates numerous technological advances and process efficiencies, the company added.
Business’ efforts to tackle climate change halt in 2009 Global efforts to tackle climate change by big businesses have stalled over the past year, according to a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Conducted immediately after the close of the UN Copenhagen climate summit in December 2009 and after the University of East Anglia leaked e-mail scandal that questioned the real impact of climate change, the study shows that public scepticism over climate change is at a new high and fewer businesses have a coherent climate strategy than in 2008. Iain Scott, senior editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said the initial hope that 2009 was to become a watershed year for businesses to implement energy efficiency strategies has not come to fruition. ‘The global recession has had a big impact and companies have been more concerned with staying afloat than tackling climate change,’ he said at a press briefing to launch the report. ‘There is growing scepticism that climate change has even happened and if it is, whether it is actually man-made.’ The study, supported by IE,IBM, The Carbon Trust and Hitachi, shows that business progress over the past year towards carbon reduction has stalled. Nearly half (49 per cent) of all the businesses included in the 2009 study have embarked on a carbon reduction journey, down from 54 per cent of the businesses in the 2008 analysis. Also, more than a half of all 2009 respondents said the jury is still out on the seriousness of the climate change issue. In addition, Scott said, most companies want top-down government regulation on how to implement energy efficient strategies within businesses, despite businesses having less confidence than ever in the ability of governments to deliver comprehensive regulation.
energy efficiency: COMPANY news
US electricity company Guelph Hydro Electric Systems has selected smart grid technology company Silver Spring Networks to provide its smart energy technology for 48,000 customers in the Guelph community, in support of Ontario’s recently announced landmark Green Energy and Economy Act. Implementation of Silver Spring’s Smart Energy Platform in 2010 will provide the foundation for enabling two-way communication between customer electricity meters and Guelph Hydro’s back-office systems, said the company. ‘It is all about smarter, greener, more environmentally-sustainable energy management using sophisticated technology and devices,’ said Barry Chuddy, CEO of Guelph Hydro. ‘By investing today in implementing Silver Spring’s Smart Energy Platform technology, Guelph Hydro is preparing for the energy future of tomorrow that will
be cleaner, more efficient, reliable, resilient and responsive – a smarter grid.’ Silver Spring’s technology is an open, IP standards-based technology platform that connects smart meters, highefficiency transformers, renewable and traditional power generation sources, and other yet-to-be-invented consumer appliances and devices through an energy information monitoring and control system. The system continuously monitors the status of the smart grid and can identify outages to automatically fix them, said the company. ‘The first step in creating a smart grid is the deployment of smart meters,’ said Matt Weninger, director of metering and communications for Guelph Hydro Electric Systems. ‘To date, we have installed more than 5,500 smart meters in support of the province’s mandate that all Ontario residents and small businesses be equipped with a smart meter by the end of 2010.’
Parcel delivery service FedEx adds first all-electric trucks to its US fleet NYSE-listed parcel delivery service FedEx has introduced the first allelectric FedEx parcel delivery trucks in the US to its alternative-energy vehicle fleet. The company has slated four purpose-built electric trucks, optimised for electric operation from the wheels up, for the Los Angeles area in June FedEx has bought electric vehicles from two 2010, joining more than 1,800 alternative different suppliers to assess the technology energy-fuelled FedEx vehicles worldwide. Rather than creating its own proprietary technology, FedEx is turning to the marketplace to spur solutions that can rapidly be scaled up, purchasing its first US all-electric vehicles from two different suppliers to evaluate the robustness of this technology. One pair of the new all-electric trucks, which are based on the Modec design already operational in the European arm of FedEx, are being purchased from an unnamed manufacturer for delivery in Los Angeles later this year and two are being assembled in Indiana that were purchased from Navistar. To date, ten Modec vehicles serve FedEx routes in London and an additional five are on order for Paris. The design range allows FedEx Express couriers to make a full eight-hour shift of deliveries before recharging the vehicles, said the company. Beyond the nine new electric trucks to be deployed in Los Angeles and Paris, FedEx said it has purchased ten additional hybrid-electric vehicles that will be added to its California fleet.
UK government criticised for lack of CO2 guidance Almost half of businesses set to participate in the UK government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme think advice on the new legislation is inadequate and are unclear as to how to forecast their CO2 emissions, according to a new survey. The CRC will affect banks, public sector organisations, retailers and service businesses that will need to purchase allowances to cover their CO2 emissions. Npower’s Business Energy Index found 44 per cent of participants believe the level of guidance on the CRC has not been adequate, while 49 per cent said they do not understand what’s required of them to buy carbon allowances, and 44 per cent are also unclear on how to forecast their CO2 emissions. In addition, nearly half of businesses questioned have no plans to take advantage of the scheme’s early action incentives, whereby participants can receive awards for being among the first to adopt measures to improve energy efficiency.
energy efficiency news
Guelph selects Silver Spring for smart grid deployment
Energy Investors Funds allies with NTE Energy for projects Private equity fund manager Energy Investors Funds (EIF) and hybrid energy project developer NTE Energy have formed a joint venture to develop, construct and operate large-scale hybrid renewable energy facilities throughout the US. The joint venture will look to develop energy projects combine different types of renewable and traditional energy technologies to generate sustainable sources of clean electricity at a lower cost to customers than traditional renewable energy sources, the companies said in a statement. The joint venture will construct plants that combine solar, biomass and other renewable technologies with natural gas turbine technology.
energy efficiency: company news
energy efficiency news
World Bank member IFC issues inaugural $200m green bond World Bank member International Finance Corporation (IFC) has issued its inaugural $200m green bond as part of its mandate to address climate change. European financial group SEB is the sole manager of the four-year fixed-rate bond that will support climate-friendly projects in developing countries. Proceeds from the bond will be set aside in a separate ‘green account’ for investing exclusively in renewable energy in the first time IFC is issuing bonds to raise funds that will be put into a separate account tied to a specific pool of loans. Nina Shapiro, vice president and treasurer of IFC, said, ‘The Green Bond is yet another example of how IFC is creating innovative financial products that offer both development impact and good return for investors.’ Projects that may be funded by the bond include rehabilitation of power plants and transmission facilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, solar and wind installations, IFC said.
Use of renewable energy doubles in the US, EIA says Renewable energy provided more than ten per cent of US energy production in 2009, an increase of 5.5 per cent over 2008, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its latest Monthly Energy Review it said renewable energy sources including bioenergy, geothermal, solar, wind and water power, provided 7.833 quadrillion Btus in 2009, which totalled an increase of over five per cent on 2008 figures and nearly 16 per cent on 2007. The largest single energy source was biomass, it said, which accounted for 51 per cent of renewable energy production, followed by hydropower at 34.2 per cent. The EIA said wind, geothermal and solar power provided 8.9 per cent, 4.7 per cent and 1.2 per cent of the total renewable energy output, respectively.
GE and China Power to advance use of clean coal
GE aims to bring clean coal to China
NYSE-listed infrastructure company General Electric (GE) and China Power Engineering Consulting Group Corporation (CPECC) have signed agreements with the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), marking a critical step towards the deployment of cleaner coal in China. Under the terms of the agreements, USTDA will fund a feasibility study that would support the advancement of commercial-scale integrated gasification combined cycle facilities in China based on GE-designed technology. In this initial study phase, GE and CPECC will evaluate the cost and performance of the design. ‘Coal is an abundant and low cost resource in China and the US gasification technology allows us to use it in a much cleaner way,’ said Steve Bolze, president and CEO for GE Power & Water. ‘To achieve significant reductions in carbon dioxide and other emissions, cleaner coal power generation technologies such as integrated gasification combined cycle facilities must be part of the solution.’ The agreement follows the memorandum of understanding signed between CPECC and USTDA in November, as part of the US-China clean energy announcements made by US President Barack Obama and China’s President Hu in November 2009.
US carbon capture developer Skyonic trials demonstration facility US carbon capture technology developer Skyonic has started operation of its carbon mineralisation demonstration facility at Capitol Aggregates in San Antonio, one of the largest cement plants in Texas. Using a scalable carbon-mineralisation process pioneered by Skyonic to reduce the harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from flue gas stacks, the demonstration facility will act as a pilot to support the build out of a large-scale commercial SkyMine plant at the site, the company said. The Department of Energy recently awarded Skyonic $3m to support planning for the full-scale Capitol-SkyMine plant. Skyonic said it expects to begin construction in the third quarter of 2010 and be in full production by 2012. Founded in 2005, Skyonic developed the first carbon capture technology designed to profitably capture carbon dioxide emissions by mineralising byproduct gas into baking soda.
ABB, Deutsche Telekom to develop smart grid technology
WHE-Generation to develop waste heat systems
Automation and power technologies specialist ABB and Deutsche Telekom’s ICT subsidiary T-Systems have agreed to develop smart grid technology, which the company said will give consumers and energy providers transparency, as well as control over electricity consumption and make grids more efficient for distribution network operators. ‘By joining forces, ABB and Deutsche Telekom are combining their know-how, which is perfectly matched to create smart grids,’ said Peter Smits, CEO of ABB. ‘We are offering the energy sector a comprehensive portfolio of power transmission and distribution, along with products and solutions for building automation.’ Reinhard Clemens, member of the Deutsche Telekom board of management and T-Systems CEO, added, ‘The energy market is facing a radical change: power and data networks are converging. We have the necessary broadband fixed and mobile network,
Waste heat recovery system developer WHE-Generation, a subsidiary of Cyclone Power Technologies, has signed a consulting and development agreement with Phoenix Power Group to assist the company’s operations, marketing and project finance of its waste heat recovery systems. WHE-G’s system captures heat that would otherwise be lost through industrial processes and converts the thermal energy into mechanical power and electricity. Its parent company Cyclone is focused on the prototyping and licensing of its heat regenerative external combustion engine. The agreement will see WHE-G primarily engaged in the development and installation of the waste heat systems using Cyclone’stechnologies, a statement said. Frankie Fruge, COO of Cyclone, said, ‘Their [Phoenix Power Group’s] principals have great track records in commercial development and installation projects, and we are confident that they will add depth to our operational growth.’ Phoenix is a licensee of Cyclone for waste oil power generators and is affiliated with Atlantic Systems Group, which designs and builds automotive oil change and service facilities in addition to manufactuing steel tanks for the lube industry. Its equity partners include Hansom James Capital, whose principals founded Tennessee-based AIMS Logistics. ‘This is an exciting project for us and a natural extension of our waste energy recovery business,’ said Thomas Thillen, CEO of Phoenix. ‘As a nation, we can gain a great deal from using our collective resources more efficiently, that goes for both waste oil and waste heat, and we are pleased to be on the forefront of that technological movement.’ Cyclone developed the external combustion Cyclone Engine, which can run a variety of portable electric generators and garden equipment to cars, trucks and locomotives.
Peter Smiits, CEO, ABB
the service staff on-site and experience in handling mass data. After all, we process more than 40 million telecommunication invoices every month in our data centres.’ The company said power consumption in future German networks must be adapted better to fluctuating energy generation following increasing decentralisation, or it will not be possible to operate the overall system efficiently.
Yangzhou, China launches smart grid demonstration centre Global diversified infrastructure company GE and the city of Yangzhou, China, have launched a smart grid demonstration centre in the city, as part of its effort to become a worldwide destination for energy efficiency, reliability and sustainability. Bob Gilligan, vice president of GE’s digital energy business, said, ‘The efficiency, communications and carbon-reduction deliverables of GE’s smart grid technologies demonstrated here will help China’s government and industry meet their aggressive environmental and business objectives.’ The centre is in line with the 2009 US-China Clean Energy announcements, calling for far reaching cooperation between the two countries to promote clean energy, and follows formal agreements made in early December 2009. The demonstration centre includes an array of GE products that affect energy in homes, on power lines and in a utility’s network control centre, and also demonstrates communications infrastructure that can enable citywide solutions beyond energy, such as voice and data applications. Home energy technologies in the demonstration include advanced metering infrastructure smart meters with dynamic pricing that serve as the hub of home energy savings. Grid infrastructure and control technologies in the demonstration include automated outage identification and restoration software, field-force automation, as well as deployment systems and grid-wide network management software.
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waternews news Solar
Pelamis secures second order for new wave energy converter After ten years in development, Scottish offshore wave energy technology developer Pelamis has received a second order for its optimised Pelamis P2 wave energy converter from global renewable energy company Iberdrola Renovables’ subsidiary ScottishPower Renewables, before the first wave energy converter has even been delivered. The second order follows an earlier order from E.ON for the first ever P2 machine, which is currently in the final stages of manufacture at the Pelamis Leith facility and due to be installed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney later this year. Incorporating a range of advances to increase performance and reduce costs together with a mooring system that has taken the company five years to develop, the new and ‘improved’ 0.75MW P2 machine is Pelamis’ second generation
Crown Estate to re-tender bids for Inner Sound The UK’s Crown Estate announced its intentions to accept bids for a tidal energy project in the Inner Sound, offshore Scotland. The Inner Sound, one of the most energy abundant tidal areas in the Pentland Firth, lies between Caithness on the Scottish Mainland and the island of Stroma. The project could significantly increase the potential capacity in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters to more than 1,200MW, The Crown Estate said. The Inner Sound’s successful bidder was announced in mid-March but withdrew soon after, prompting the Crown Estate to accept new offers, particularly one single commercial project of 200MW or more, to be constructed and operational by 2020.
ScottishPower Renewables’ order follows E.ON’s for the first ever P2 converter
machine, based on over ten years of R&D and the experience gained operating P1 machines, the company said. Leases have been granted for projects totalling 150MW using Pelamis machines, the equivalent of around 200 P2 machines, said the company. Earlier
this year ScottishPower Renewables and E.ON were awarded leases by the Crown Estate for projects off the west coast of Orkney using Pelamis P2 technology in addition to Pelamis securing a lease for a project off the north mainland coast of Scotland.
Ocean Power Technology to scale PowerBuoy with $1.5m US grant Wave energy technology developer Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has received a $1.5m award from the US Department of Energy (DOE) for the development of its next generation PowerBuoy system. The grant will be used to help fund the scale-up of the PowerBuoy’s output PowerBuoy to 500KW from the current level of 150KW, OPT said. In addition, OPT will focus on increasing the power extraction efficiency and a carry out a strategic design-for-manufacture approach with the aim of achieving lower installed capital and energy costs that are expected to be competitive with energy based on fossil fuels. The PowerBuoy system is based on modular, ocean-going buoys that capture and convert predictable wave energy into electricity.
UK to invest £5m to create Cornish marine park The UK government is to invest £5m to help create a new £12.8m marine energy business park in Hayle, Cornwall. The funding will come from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department Energy and Climate Change. The funding is part of the govern-
ment’s £19.5m investment into marine energy projects in south-west England. The investment has been secured by the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA). The project, which should create 190 jobs, will call for new infrastructure to be built to support the proposed marine renewable business park.
Middlesex Water acquires Montague assets in NJ
Bhutan Dam gets CDM registration to export to India
NASDAQ-listed Middlesex Water, a water and wastewater service provider based in New Jersey, US, has agreed to purchase Montague Water and Montague Sewer, also based in New Jersey. The deal comes four months after Middlesex Water acquired the assets of Twin Lakes Water Services in Shohola, Pennsylvania, near the Montague township in northwestern New Jersey, where Montague Water and Montague Sewer presently serve more than 2,000 people. ‘The proximity of these systems is expected to enhance our ability to deliver additional efficiencies for the benefit of all of these customers,’ said Middlesex Water president and CEO Dennis W Doll. ‘We continue to pursue opportunities that make sense both operationally and strategically. We also continue our focus on leveraging our solid water and wastewater capabilities in expanding our footprint both within and beyond our core New Jersey and Delaware operations,’ added Doll. The transaction requires approval by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, said the company.Based in Iselin, New Jersey, Middlesex Water Company, organised in 1897, is a water utility serving customers in central and southern New Jersey and in the State of Delaware, subject to federal and state regulation.
A hydropower project located in inland-locked Bhutan that will enable the country to export clean energy to India, has been registered as the first cross-border initiative under the United Nation’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The 114MW Dagachhu project, supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), as well as the governments of Austria and Japan, will promote cross-border power trade and reduce greenhouse gas pollution in the South Asia region, the ADB said. The project is part of the ADB’s Green Power Development Project for Bhutan, and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by about 500,000 tonnes each year. The project will help prevent carbon emission in India, while generating additional revenue from CDM to make the project viable in Bhutan, the ADB said. In total, the project will cost $200m, with the ADB providing an $80m loan.
Statkraft contracts Skansa to build two Norwegian hydro plants
EIF sells Green Park hydro project to Fort Chicago for $80m
Statkraft’s dams will be constructed in the mountain range to capitalise on the vertical fall of the Høgsvatnet and Daleelva rivers
Construction company Skansa has been commissioned by power major Statkraft to build two hydropower plants in western Norway. The contract, worth NOK254m (€32m), will be included within Skansa’s order bookings for the second quarter of 2010 and will see two power plants constructed in the Høyanger municipality in Sognefjorden. The Eiriksdal and Makkoren hydropower plants will have a
combined capacity of 340GWh. Skansa said they will be constructed in the mountain range to capitalise on the natural vertical fall of the Høgsvatnet and Daleelva rivers. The project, which also includes the construction of two road bridges, will see the two hydropower plants replace three ageing plants. The construction company said the build will begin immediately with the project expected to be complete within three years.
US private equity fund manager Energy Investors Funds has completed the sale of the Glen Park hydroelectric project to Fort Chicago Energy Partners for $80.1m. Operating since 1986 on the Black River near Watertown, New York, Glen Park is a 33MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric generation facility. Energy Investors Funds acquired the project in 2005 for an undisclosed sum. A subsidiary of Northbrook Energy will continue to operate the facility following the sale, the company said. ‘From the date of initial investment through disposition, the Glen Park project was a solid performer for EIF and its investors,’ said Mark Segel, partner at EIF who led the transaction along with Mark Voccola, senior vice president.
US Geothermal awarded Guatemala rights concession
US Geothermal Guatemala, a subsidiary of NYSE-listed US Geothermal, which is focused on the development, production and sale of electricity from geothermal energy, has been awarded a geothermal energy rights concession in Guatemala. The 24,710 acre concession area is located in the centre of the Agua and Pacaya twin volcano complex 14 miles southwest of Guatemala City, the capital of the Republic of Guatemala. A key asset included in the concession is the El Ceibillo geothermal project with nine existing geothermal wells of depths ranging from 560 to 2000 feet that was drilled during the 1990s, six of which have measured reservoir temperatures in the range of 365 to 400°F (185 to 204°C). The wells have high conductive thermal gradients that indicate rapidly increasing temperatures with depth and two wells are currently producing steam for local industrial use, the company added. US Geothermal said fluid sample and rock cutting data from the wells suggest the existence of a deeper, higherpermeability reservoir at this site with temperatures ranging from 410 to 446°F (210 to 230°C). It has already completed preliminary reservoir, transmission and environmental studies for the El Ceibillo project, which is located in an industrial zone with major electrical transmission and distribution lines nearby, and said it plans to engage in detailed testing and studies to quantify the electrical generating capacity of the resource by deepening a number of the existing wells. Planning is also underway for exploration and testing of at least four additional prospects containing fumaroles and hot springs that are located within the concession area but it is too early to assign total potential generating capacity for the numerous geothermal sites, the company added. Studies indicate that Guatemala has a large untapped geothermal energy potential of up to 4,000MW.
Raser Technologies to sell $25m in shares on NYSE
In February, the US Treasury approved a $32.99m renewable energy grant application by Raser
Geothermal power company Raser Technologies said it may sell up to $25m in shares of its common stock. Under documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Raser said shares will be made available on the New York Stock Exchange by ordinary brokers’ transactions at market prices. Cantor Fitzgerald will act as agent to the sale, the documents said. In February, the US Treasury approved a $32.99m renewable energy grant application by Raser for its
Thermo 1 geothermal power plant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As part of the project restructuring announced in December of 2009, the company became the sole owner of the Thermo 1 project, opening the door for the company to bring in a new tax-equity partner in the future. Earlier this year, the Utah-based company sold $5m convertible preferred stock, plus an additional $14m in certain investment rights to investment advisor and strategic partner Fletcher International.
Kenya gets $300m from Japan for geothermal power, seeks more funds Kenya has signed a Sh23.4bn ($303m) loan with Japan to develop its geothermal energy sector in addition to its biggest power producer the Kenya Generating Electricity Co (KenGen) seeking further loans from global development banks, according to recent news reports. The agreement with Japan will fund the expansion of the Olkaria I geothermal plant to generate an addition 140MW. In addition, a statement by KenGen printed in the Nairobi-based Daily Nation said the company was in talks with the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, Germany’s KfW Entwicklungsbank and the French Development Agency about further loans. The Olkaria 1 geothermal project, which will see two further units be built, will cost $650m with the drilling of wells amounting to an additional $330m. Kenya is plagued by a shortage of power supplies but has a strong geothermal potential along its rift valley. The area has been subject to a comprehensive study by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment facility (GEF) that together carried out seismic testing and drilling concluding there was at least 4,000MW of electricity to be harnessed along the rift.
J-Power collaborates with Mitsubishi to conduct geothermal feasibility studies at the two sites, with Mitsubishi Gas, which has developed underground resources such as natural gas, will provide technical and other support. Geothermal power plants have not been built in Japan since 1999 and the trio estimates that a plant in the city of Yuzawa would be able to generate tens of thousands of kilowatts of electricity. Mitsubishi Materials has been measuring the amount of underground steam in Yuzawa since 2004 and last year teamed up with J-Power to study steam volumes
at another site about 2km away. The facility would not come onstream until around 2020 due to the duration of environmental-impact assessments and other studies. There are currently 18 domestic geothermal power plants in operation in the country, generating a total of slightly more than 500,000KW and although potential output is estimated at 20,000,000KW, new plants have not been built recently, partly due to high construction costs.
Geothermal industry reports growth of new projects in US
Terra negotiates financing of Java geothermal resource
The US geothermal industry showed a 26 per cent growth in new projects under development in 2009 with 188 new installations being constructed, according to latest figures. Statistic released by the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) show that projects are being Nevada continues to be the leading state for geothermal energy developed in 15 states that could produce as much as 7,875MW of additional power, equal to 20 per cent of California’s entire electricity consumption. Nevada continued to be the leading state for new geothermal energy, with over 3,000MW under development, the 2010 US Geothermal Power Production and Development Update said. The fastest growing geothermal power states were Utah which quadrupled its geothermal power under development, New Mexico which tripled and Idaho which doubled the capacity under construction. In addition, Oregon reported a 50 per cent rise. Karl Gawell, executive director at GEA, said geothermal power can be a critical part of the answer to global warming. ‘For example, California could achieve its 2020 goal for global warming emissions reductions just by keeping energy demand level and replacing its coalfired generation with geothermal,’ Gawell said. First geothermal projects under development were also reported in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, GEA said. ‘Not only are we seeing more and more development, and hiring in places with a long history of geothermal like Nevada and California, but for the first time these jobs are being created in the Gulf Coast, in states such as Louisiana and Mississippi,’ Gawell added.
US energy company Terra Energy Resources has entered into talks with Jala Tekno Geothermal and the Indonesian government to finance its geothermal resource on the island of Java. As part of the negotiations, an Indonesian government entity has issued a letter of intent for the development of the first phase of Jala Tekno’s 55MW Java geothermal project, a 6MW capped drilled steam-producing well in a proprietary field in Java that the company said holds geothermal resources in the range of 75MW to 150MW. Pandawa Energy, of which Jala Tekno is a subsidiary, said it has received letters of interest from a number of US and European companies for upstream and downstream financing as well as operational and technical expertise on projects at two of its proven resources on Java and three on other Indonesian islands, said to hold 1,000MW. Sitting on the ‘Pacific rim ring of fire’, the islands in the Indonesia Archipelago are thought to possess geothermal resources of over 27,000MW, only about four per cent of which is developed and in use. Last year, the Indonesian government announced plans to establish an additional 4,800MW of geothermal energy.
Japanese power company Electric Power Development, known as J-Power, has partnered with Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company and Mitsubishi Materials to conduct feasibility studies for the construction of a geothermal power plant in Akita Prefecture, Japan. The companies established a joint venture company with J-Power taking a 50 per cent stake, Mitsubishi Materials a 30 per cent interest and Mitsubishi Gas the remainder. The new company will conduct feasibility studies
HSBC raises $500m in close of fourth infrastructure fund
Platina closes €209m renewable energy fund
Global bank HSBC has raised more than half of its $1bn target in the first close of its fourth infrastructure-related fund. The unlisted HSBC Infrastructure Fund III is fourth in a line of HSBC funds since its first infrastructure fund, HSBC Infrastructure Company, was listed in 2006. Whereas multibillion dollar funds have struggled to reach their fundraising targets, smaller infrastructure funds focused on sectors such as renewable energy have fared better, the bank said. HSBC also sponsored HSBC Infrastructure Fund II, which has invested in 22 projects, and the HSBC Environmental Infrastructure Fund. The bank said the unlisted fund received commitments totalling $580m from a small number of investors who have also invested in HSBC’s previous infrastructure funds. Targeting investor returns of 15 per cent per year after taxes, fees and costs over the fund’s life, HSBC said the infrastructure fund is currently the preferred bidder on a government accommodation project in Canada and the Singapore National Sports Hub. With a mandate to invest globally, the fund has a pipeline of opportunities in tender or preferred bidder stage across social, rail and road infrastructure, added the bank, which did not disclose how long its latest infrastructure fund has been seeking funds. ‘We believe global infrastructure markets will continue to grow, driven by a number of factors including infrastructure investment deficits and public budgetary constraints,’ said HSBC Specialist Investments chief executive Werner von Guionneau in a statement. Increased competition for investors’ money has put pressure on fees for unlisted funds, while global infrastructure fundraising dropped by more than half in 2009 from 2008 as investors moved into more liquid assets, said HSBC.
European private equity fund manager Platina Partners has closed its European Renewable Energy Fund (EREF) with total commitments of €209m. Building on the renewed support of its historical investors, Platina said it expanded its investor base for EREF, attracting banks, funds of funds and pension funds from across Europe. With Access Capital Partners, the European Investment Bank, Euro Private Equity, the Finnish State Pension Fund and Partners Group among the new invesThomas Rottner, Platina Partners tors, Platina said the fund will invest in renewable energy projects across Europe at all stages from development to construction and energy production. Continuing to focus on projects at all stages of development with operational asset enterprise values of between €20m and €200m, Platina said around €150m of the EREF’s uncommitted funds are ready to be invested in line with its portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets and growing independent renewable power producers. Thomas Rottner, managing partner of Platina Partners, said, ‘Right now the pipeline is as full as it has ever been and we are actively looking at a number of projects across Europe. For the foreseeable future, we are expecting to finance around 100MW of construction and operational projects in Europe every year.’ To date, Platina has completed nine investments within EREF including the €170m 82MW Orites wind farm in July 2009, which, when complete, will represent eight per cent of the installed capacity in the Republic of Cyprus.
Impax Asset Management launches Asia-focused environmental fund Environmental investment company Impax Asset Management Group has launched the Impax Asian Environmental Markets (Ireland) Fund, an open-ended version of its existing Asia-focused investment trust. The launch comes on the back of the listing of Impax Asian Environmental Markets in October 2009 that raised £104.5m in the largest investment company initial public offering since July 2008. Ian Simm, CEO of Impax, said the fund is being launched to enable investors to benefit from the rapid and sustained growth anticipated from companies active in the environmental sector that are based in the Asia-Pacific region. ‘We believe that the key drivers of the Asian environmental markets – market liberalisation, tightening environmental policy and falling costs of new technology – will continue to generate highly attractive investment opportunities.’ Since its inception, IAEM has returned 18.9 per cent and the new fund will be launched under Impax Funds, which is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange. ‘Since the launch of our Asian investment trust, China has pledged to cut its carbon intensity by 40 to 45 per cent by 2020, India has announced a plan to invest $19bn in solar technologies and Korea has set out a framework for measures to reduce greenhouse gases and develop clean technologies,’ Simm said.
Netherlands-based financial institution Rabobank said it will raise up to €1.5bn from institutions for a senior debt fund that will be focused on wind and solar energy projects. A statement by Rabobank said the fund will enable investors to co-invest alongside Rabobank in project finance across a range of European countries and will be especially focused on the subsectors of onshore and offshore wind as well as ground-mounted and photovoltaic solar, and concentrated solar. The Renewable Energy and Infrastructure Finance Department (REIF) at Rabobank has been involved in more than €4bn of projects in past two years. For each project, the fund will invest 70 per cent with the REIF providing investment for the remaining 30 per cent. It said no single investment in the
fund, which will invest across a range of European countries, will be more than €150m and it is targeting its first close for the first half of the year. The fund should help to fill the gap identified by Rabobank within renewable energy project financing over the next ten years, it said. A recent project financing analysis by Rabobank said between 2015 and 2020 annual investments for offshore wind in Europe alone could amount to between €15bn and €20bn and a shortage of project finance available for offshore wind is imminent. ‘Margins on renewable energy project finance have become very attractive and are expected to be maintained due to increased funding costs for banks and stronger regulations regarding liquidity risk. As a result there is good initial interest from European pension funds,’ the statement said.
WHEB Ventures raises $100m for second clean technology fund European clean technology private equity firm WHEB Ventures has announced the fourth closing of its second clean technology fund on £100.3m and anticipates its final close before the end of May, its managing partner said. James McNaught-Davis said the final close of its second clean technology fund, WHEB Ventures Private Equity Fund 2 LP, may not reach its initial £150m target, but he was satisfied with how fundraising had progressed in a difficult economic climate.
I2BF launches second cleantech venture fund Moscow and London-based asset management group I2BF has launched its second clean technology-focused venture capital fund and will look to raise $100m to invest in the sector. The Venture Fund II comes on the back off its first venture fund, I2BF Holdings One, which holds close to $75m. A quarter of the funding for the new fund has already been secured from both new and existing investors, the firm said. I2BF, which was established in 2005, said the new fund will invest in a diversified portfolio of early stage companies, developing and commercialising renewable energy technologies. The move comes just weeks after Denis Chigirev was appointed as head of quantitative research at I2BF. The investment remit will include clean technology and renewable power companies in the solar, wind, biofuels, energy efficiency and energy storage sectors. It said its primary geographical focus will be Europe and the US, but regions such as Latin America, the CIS and China will also be considered. Ilya Golubovich, founding partner of I2BF, said the fact it has already raised a significant proportion of the money shows not only an appetite for the opportunities in the clean technology sector, but also confidence in I2BF. ‘The current portfolio reveals our understanding of the sector and how to identify and grow a successful and competitive company. We are very optimistic about the fund and already have a potential pipeline of 23 portfolio companies,’ Golubovich said.
Rabobank to raise up to €1.5bn for energy projects
CLSA anticipates final close of clean resources fund CLSA Capital Partners, the alternative asset management arm of Asian brokerage and investment group CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, said it is expected to hold a final closing of its Clean Resources Asia Growth Fund by the fourth quarter of 2010. The firm, which has in excess of
$2.5bn in funds under management and offices across Asia, has a range of investment vehicles. Funds under CLSA Capital Partners’ management include Asia Investment Partners, which are pan-Asian private equity funds providing expansion capital to Asian mid-market companies,
and MezzAsia Capital, a mezzanine fund investing in mature businesses and leverage finance to buyout transactions and mid-cap companies. Its Clean Resources Capital platform has four Asia-focused clean technology public funds and one clean technology private equity fund.
LISTED COMPANY RESULTS
listed company results
Chinese solar wafer company LDK targets profitability in 2010 Chinese solar wafer maker LDK Solar reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of 2009 of $7.3m and a negative operating margin of 1.1 per cent, causing an immediate fall in its share price, but said it expects improved profitability going into Q1 2010. The company increased its shipments in the quarter, up 34 per cent year-on-year to 340.4MW and generated revenues of $304.6m. Net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 were $304.6m, compared to $281.9m for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 and $426.6m for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008. Jack Lai, executive vice president and chief financial offer, said it generated most revenues from China and saw an improvement in selling price trends over the past year. ‘Following capital-intensive investment over the past two years, we expect capital expenditure to be more modest in the next few years,’ Lai said on an analyst call announcing the results.
Clean technology underperforms by 15 per cent in 2010 Since the start of the year, clean technology has been under performing the market by about 15 per cent, according to analysis by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Steven Milunovich, a US renewable energy analyst at the bank, said it has been a difficult year for clean technology and going forward, growth in the sector may not be coupled with profitability. ‘Clean technology stocks performed very well in 2007 and 2008 when there was a lot of issuance in the wind space. But in 2009, our index was down 60 per cent versus the market,’ he said, on a conference call. ‘It has been a very difficult year with clean technology underperforming the market by 15 per cent.’
Future’s bright for LDK as demand in China for solar cells continues to escalate
The company also continued its aim to bring its manufacturing in-house and with its 1,000MW plant nearing production capacity. ‘Our inventories have increased slightly as we are storing for the future as we ramp-up our [in-house] capacity. We want to realise the benefits of in-house production,’ Lai said. The company is diversifying with a new line of solar module products through its acquisition of the module
assembly assets from Best Solar and is negotiating its financing terms. ‘We are working with our Chinabased banks to replace short term loans with long-term loans,’ Lai said. LDK Solar said it estimates its revenues to be in the range of $310m to $330m, with wafer shipments between 370MW and 400MW. Shipments of its new module portfolio are expected in the range of 25MW to 30MW, the company said.
New Generation Biofuel’s mixed fortunes mirror escalating biofuel production NASDAQ-listed renewable fuels provider New Generation Biofuels Holdings, based in Maryland, US, has reported increased revenues with decreased losses and expenses year-on-year for the final quarter of fiscal 2009, paralleling an increase in biofuel production and sales. Since 2008, the company’s production of biofuel shot up 14-fold to around 209,000 gallons in 2009 compared to 14,000 gallons the year previously. Echoing this increase in output, biofuel production and sales in the final quarter of 2009 grew more than six-fold to 88,000 gallons compared to 14,000 gallons the fourth quarter of 2008. Corresponding to the increase, the company’s final quarter revenues of $101,890 and net loss of $4.9m outstripped its revenues of $22,943 and net loss of $6.3m for the final three months of fiscal 2008. In the same period, the company experienced a drop in total operating expenses of $2m compared to 2008, driven by an increase in the cost of product revenue of approximately $600,000 and offset by a decrease in research and development expenses of approximately $100,000. Total operating expenses decreased by approximately $500,000 over the full year of 2009. The increasing revenue and diminishing expenses were also driven by the company’s growth from a development stage organisation in 2008 to commercial production and sale of biofuel in 2009, a decrease in general and administrative expenses of approximately $900,000 from decreases in legal expenses and the absence of a $1.6m licence impairment charge that was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2008, said the company.
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Renewable energy project investor Trading Emissions has reduced its value per share by 7.2 pence on year-on-year for the final six months of 2009 to 142.7, but has raised its dividend in order to demonstrate it is generating returns, its investment advisor has said. Trading Emissions, which specialises in emissions instruments and clean energy projects, said its carbon portfolio totalled £141.8m or 55.1 pence per share as of 31 December with its private equity portfolio standing at £115.1m. Simon Shaw, founder of EEA Fund Management and investment advisor to Trading Emissions, said the decline in asset value had been hit by the low carbon price and the slow approval of new UN-accredited projects. It was able to raise its dividend, however, by a guaranteed investment
stream generated in 2008. ‘In 2008, we hedged a proportion of our portfolio at €21 and produced a level of guaranteed income from the carbon portfolio. The board decided it would use that to underwrite a dividend flow for the company between 2009 and 2012,’ Shaw said. ‘The company has always said it will pay its cash profit out to shareholders through dividends or buybacks. Most analysts were forecasting a five pence dividend. We have announced 5.5 pence so it is an increase over market expectations.’ The company also had a failed merger with Leaf Clean Energy and Trading Emissions said it will initiate a discussion before the Annual General Meeting following the year end in June 2011 where shareholders will be given the opportunity to vote on the future of the company.
Acro Energy aims to double Q1 revenues in next quarter US solar integrator Acro Energy Technologies said it achieved record revenues for the first quarter of 2010, totalling gross revenue of $3.7m, and aims to nearly double this figure in the next three months. In addition, Acro said it has an existing backlog of more than $5m in residential solar energy system installations and is expecting to generate revenues of $6m in the second quarter. Marty Spake, chief financial officer at Acro, said it had been a tremendous quarter for the company. ‘Our first quarter revenue represents over 60 per cent of the approximately $6m in revenue the company generated in 2009. ‘More importantly, our preliminary review of the financial information for the first quarter indicates the company should break even for the quarter at the net income level,’ Spake said.
Hydrogenics remains optimistic for 2010 The CEO of NASDAQ-listed Canadian hydrogen fuel cell developer Hydrogenics said he remains optimistic about the outlook for 2010, after the company experienced an increase in profits following gains in the fourth quarter of 2009. The company’s net profit was $6.1m for the three months ended 31 December 2009, compared to a net loss of $2m for the equivalent period of 2008. Company CEO Daryl Wilson said this reflects a $10.4m gain in the fourth quarter of 2009, in connection with the transaction with the trustees of the Algonquin Power Income Fund. The company’s overall fiscal 2009 losses abated with a negative $9.4m reported for the full 12 months of the year, compared to $14.3m in losses for the 12 months of fiscal 2008. Since the end of the year, Hydrogenics has completed a $5m registered direct equity offering
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Trading Emissions posts reduced NAV on lower carbon prices
order delivery times and lower order intake in the company’s onsite generation business unit, partially offset by higher revenues in the power systems business unit. Cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and short-term investments were $11m as of 31 December 2009, a $3.7m sequential quarterly increase from the third quarter of Hydrogenics’ positive results are expected to continue 2009. This was partially due to proceeds of $10.4m from the with two institutional investors. Algonquin transaction and partially The company’s revenues for the 12 offset by a $4m EBITDA loss, $0.6m months of 2009 were down by more of capital expenditures and a $2.2m than a third, while its fourth quarter decrease in non-cash working capital, revenues nearly halved since the fourth the company said. quarter of 2008. Hydrogenics reported an order Hydrogenics’ revenues for the fourth backlog at the end of the fiscal year quarter dropped from $8.9m for the of $19.7m, the substantial majority of fourth quarter 2008 to $4.2m in 2009. which is anticipated to be delivered The company’s 2009 revenue was and recognised as revenue in 2010, $18.8m versus $39.3m in fiscal, which added the company. it said reflects longer
LISTED COMPANY RESULTS
listed company results
Oxford Catalysts Group expects to be sales-ready by year-end
Emerging from development stage and hoping to be sales-ready by year end, UK clean synthetic fuel developer Oxford Catalysts Group’s 2009 revenues increased nearly eightfold to £8.7m from £1.3m in 2008. Still at the tail-end of its development stage and spending heavily on demonstration projects such as next year’s $30m demonstration project in Brazil with Petrobras, the company said it is still loss-making, with losses having increased from £2.4m in 2008 to £3.8m in 2009, excluding the impact of currency movements and non-cash items. ‘Overall revenues increased significantly and the cash outflow eased in the second half of the year. The results
Roy Lipski, CEO, Oxford Catalysts
show that we are continuing to move from loss to profits,’ Oxford Catalysts Group CEO Roy Lipski said. ‘This technology has been in development for 15 to 20 years, to the stage we are now
demonstrating on a large scale. Following demonstration we expect commissioning. Sales will begin hopefully by December, a couple of months either side of the end of the year.’ The company revealed that it hopes if its first demonstration round is successful, its partner SGCE will be in a place to make a commissioning order. The company secured more than $50m in non-dilutive funding for development and commercialisation in 2009, according to its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2009. The group’s gross profits quadrupled in the same period to £3.2m compared with £530,000 the year previously.
BP to maintain $1bn alternative energy investment in 2010
Evergreen Solar targets growth with $165m stock offering
Oil major BP’s investment into alternative energy will continue at its established pace and will reach $1bn a year, a spokesperson said. BP originally set up its alternative energy business at the end of 2005 and pledged to invest up to $8bn over the next ten years. But in February 2009, BP said it was cutting jobs in its renewable energy division, and across the board, in an effort to save funds. A few months later in June it announced it was closing its London headquarters of its renewable energy business and moved its 80 staff back to its central corporate office. Then in September, it sold-off its Indian based wind energy business to independent power producer Green Infra ‘Our investment will be the same as it has been for the past four years,’ the spokesperson said.
US NASDAQ-listed solar company Evergreen Solar has priced its offering of $165m of 13 per cent convertible secured senior notes due for repayment in 2015. The notes will be convertible into shares of Evergreen Solar’s common stock at an initial conversion rate of 525.2462 shares of common stock per $1,000 principal amount of notes. The initial conversion price represents a conversion premium of approximately 52 per cent relative to $1.25, said Evergreen. The notes will mature on 15 April 2015 unless earlier converted, repurchased or redeemed. Evergreen Solar said it will use the net proceeds from the offering for the purchase of $124.5m aggregate principal amount of its four per cent convertible senior notes due for repayment in 2013 and intends to use the remainder of the net proceeds for further expansion of its manufacturing facility in Wuhan, China. Shipments for the first quarter of 2010 increased to a new company record of approximately 35.4MW. Revenues for the quarter were approximately $78.5m and average selling price was approximately $2.20 per watt. Manufacturing costs were approximately $2.05 per watt, which is consistent with the fourth quarter of 2009. Company CEO Richard M Feldt said, ‘Operationally, our Devens facility is performing very well, and as a result, we expect production and sales to increase to between 37MW to 38MW for the second quarter of 2010. Overall, demand for our product in the first quarter was strong and our selling prices decreased modestly by approximately four per cent from the fourth quarter of 2009, mostly due to the stronger US dollar. Furthermore, our ongoing dialogue with customers indicates that overall demand for our products in 2010 is expected to be consistent with the initial forecast of 175MW we provided in February.’
Global Clean Energy ‘confident’ as to future of biofuel industry
Balqon cuts losses by two-thirds as revenues rocket
President and CEO of biofuel company Global Clean Energy Holdings, Richard Palmer, has acquired 50 million shares in the company’s stock and issued a letter to shareholders, saying he is enthusiastic and optimistic about the future of the global biofuel industry. In April, the company appointed Martin J Wenzel, CEO of Colorado Energy, to its board of directors. ‘I am more enthusiastic and optimistic today about this industry, and the direction we chose than I have ever been. I am so convinced that we are following the right course and will be successful in our endeavors that I personally acquired more than 50 million shares of GCEH common stock recently,’ said Palmer. ‘As you know, the recent global financial crisis has affected most companies, including ours, most specifically in our ability to raise capital. We used this time as an opportunity to focus on our existing energy farming operations and to finalise the sale of the remaining assets of our legacy business.’ The company recently completed its transformation from a medical research company to an energy company by finalising the sale of its legacy medical assets, and transitioned from a development-stage company to an operating company with recurring revenues. ‘Transitioning from a development-stage company to a true operating company is a turning point for our company. We are now generating recurring revenues from three of our operating units. We have sold our legacy medical assets, discontinued any further development activities in that field and no longer have the on-going costs to maintain those assets. As a result of our efforts; we can now focus on our core business of planting oil bearing trees, which produce a cost-effective renewable alternative to fossil fuels,’ said Palmer.
Balqon, and emerging US developer and manufacturer of zero emissions heavyduty electric vehicles, saw its revenues for 2009 shoot up by $3.4m above the 2008 figure of $200,000, to $3.6m. The company said the increase in net revenues in 2009 is a direct result of its ramp-up of business in 2009, during which sales of vehicles and parts increased by $3.1m over 2008 levels. Balqon reduced its losses in 2009 by nearly two-thirds, reporting a net loss of $3m for 2009 compared to a net loss of $7.9m for 2008, a 62 per cent decrease. The company said the $4.9m reduction in net loss during 2009 is primarily due to $5.9m of stock-based compensation expense incurred in 2008 compared to none in 2009. Between 2 February 2010 and 12 April 2010, Balqon raised $1.5m through the sale of its convertible notes and warrants to accredited investors in a private placement transaction.
Water filtration company Amiad reports rise in profit, targets India as growth market Water filtration company Amiad Filtration Systems reported a rise in net profit in 2009, despite a drop in revenues, as gross margins increased and it targets growth markets such as India in its continued expansion. The Israel-based company reported an operating profit rise to $7.9m, up from $7.7m, but a revenue drop to $69.1m, down from $73.3m. During the year it increased its gross margins to 48.1 per cent, from 46.2 per cent, and formed an agreement to buy-out Arkal Filtration Systems Cooperative Agricultural Society to increase its Israel and global growth plans. It said the acquisition would form part of a ‘transformational year’ in 2010 as it will improve Amiad’s offer in the irrigation sector and expand its reach into products for areas such as
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Amiad has said the acquisition of Arkal would help its offer in the irrigation sector
desalination of sea water. Arik Dayan, CEO of Amiad, said the company had not been unaffected by the global economic downturn, especially in the irrigation segment, but had focused on lowering costs. ‘We have been successful in taking
action to improve efficiency, streamline operations and maintain tight control on costs, which has helped to mitigate some of the negative impacts of the economy and enabled Amiad to increase its net profit compared with last year,’ Dayan.
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Biofuel technology developer Deinove sets IPO price
Energy efficiency company PCTEL sees revenues rise
Deinove, a developer of technology for the biofuels industry, set its initial public offering (IPO) price at €8.33 and has raised more than €12m through its stock market listing on the Alternext market of NYSE Euronext Paris. Alain Chevallier, CFO of Deinove, said the listing will be effective on 27 April and the share price corresponds with the medium range that was proposed to investors. ‘It is a fair price that has been the result of external financial analysis. It gives a good potential value to the stock in the future,’ he said. Chevallier said one-third of the IPO amount has been subscribed by individual investors. ‘We have 1,600 individual investors that have demonstrated their trust in the company,’ he said. Dexia Securities acted as bookrunner for the listing with Invest Securities as an associate bookrunner and the listing sponsor.
NASDAQ-listed wireless network solutions company PCTEL saw revenues of $15.6m for the first quarter of 2010, ten per cent higher than its revenue in the same period of 2009. The company narrowed its losses, recording a GAAP-adjusted net loss of $750,000 for the quarter, representing $0.05 per share, compared to a net loss of $1.9m or $0.11 per diluted share for the same period of 2009. The company attributed the $1.1m reduction in losses to the disadvantage of an impairment of goodwill net tax in 2009. When recorded at the end of March 2010, the company had $72.5m in cash and investments, which represented a decrease of $3.1m from the previous
Power giant Datang denies Chinese spin-off rumours
The latest financial quarter for UK early stage investor, Low Carbon Accelerator, was its third consecutive quarter of net asset value growth, according to the company’s latest financial statement. At the end of the quarter ending 28 February 2010, LCA’s unaudited net asset value had risen 2.2 per cent to £44.22m since November 2009, now at the equivalent of 51.4 pence per ordinary LCA’s financial statements record share. While it said the increase was mainly consistent growth due to the value of the US and Canadian dollars against pound sterling, LCA stressed that its portfolio continues to demonstrate its strength. Over the three months ended 28 February 2010, LCA’s closing mid-market share price fell by 21 per cent, closing at 29.5 pence, a 42.6 per cent discount to the net asset value per share at the time. However, the company said on 21 April 2010 the closing mid-market share price was 30.5 pence. During the last quarter, LCA made several additional investments into its existing portfolio companies, including a $533,333 investment into LUMEnergi as an extension to an existing convertible loan note as part of an overall funding round of $1m with existing co-investor Noventi Ventures. LCA also invested a further £750,000 into QuantaSol as part of a £1.5m convertible loan investment from existing shareholders and £150,000 into Vykson as part of a £500,000 round that it said attracted two new investors in the company. Since the quarter end, the company invested a further $400,000 into LUMEnergi in the form of an additional convertible loan note and said it continues discussions with potential investors as part of a Series B funding round.
Chinese power company Datang has denied it is to spin-off its new energy business as its shares climbed on rumours that it was to be listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Shares climbed ten per cent following the news, in the biggest increase since August 2009, as media reports circulated that it was to separate its coal chemical and new energy business. A statement released by Datang said the company had no plans to list the divisions on the ChiNext Board of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, causing its share price to fall. In addition, it said the plan that has been approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Datang, which is China’s largest publically-traded power company, said in the event it changes its plans, future announcements will be made.
quarter. The company said the decrease is connected to a $2.4m payout for the acquisition of Sparco Technologies. ‘Our results suggest that we are continuing to make progress and that there is a renewed investment in both public and private networks,’ said Marty Singer, PCTEL’s chairman and CEO. ‘We believe that our acquisitions were well-timed and that our product line expansion will accelerate our growth as the economy recovers.’ Illinois, US-based PCTEL designs and develops software-based radios for wireless network optimisation and develops antenna solutions such as its SeeGull scanning receivers deployed in wireless tests.
LCA’s asset value rises for third consecutive quarter
Argan’s revenues lift after purchase of GRP
GE sees drop in wind turbine orders in Q1
In the year it purchased the remaining 50 per cent of Gemma Renewable Power (GRP) with an associated gain of $877,000, NYSE-listed energy plant developer Argan’s net revenues for fiscal 2010 ending 31 January were $232.3m, up from $220.9m the previous year. Gemma Power Systems contributed $209.8m or 90.3 per cent of net revenues in fiscal 2010, said the company, slightly more than its contribution of $202.3m or 91.6 per cent of net revenues in fiscal 2009. Prior to the acquisition, Argan said its share of earnings from the subsidiary was $1.3m. Gemma contributed 87.7 per cent of net revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 compared to 91.5 per cent of net revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, said the company. Combined net revenues from Argan’s other wholly-owned subsidiaries increased to 12.3 per cent of net revenues for the quarter ended 31 January 2010 it added, compared to 8.5 per cent of net revenues the previous year. Combined net revenues from Argan’s other wholly-owned subsidiaries increased to $22.5m or 9.7 per cent of net revenues for the year ended 31 January 2010 compared to $18.6m or 8.4 per cent of net revenues the year before, said the company. Argan reported consolidated EBITDA of $11.8m for fiscal 2010 compared to $19.6m the year prior, while Gemma recorded $17.2m in EBITDA for fiscal 2010 compared to $31.2m for fiscal 2009. The company’s net income for fiscal 2010 was $7m or $0.51 per diluted share based on 13,766,000 diluted shares outstanding, compared to net income of $10m or $0.78 per diluted share based on 12,779,000 diluted shares outstanding for fiscal 2009. In the fourth quarter 2010, the company experienced an operating loss of $2.2m that it said was due primarily to lower operating performances at each of its business segments, and net revenues were down at $43.1m compared to $56m in the previous year.
US energy major GE saw a 28 per cent drop in its wind turbine orders for the first quarter of 2010, compared to the previous year’s figure, as its overall earnings dropped 18 per cent. GE said its energy team had ‘another great quarter’, despite orders dropping to $1.2bn as it received contracts for just 494 turbines versus 724 in the same period last year, according to its earnings call announcement. In total, its energy division received $6.2bn of orders, down 15 per cent, and its revenues dropped seven per cent. During the first quarter, the company shipped 349 wind turbines compared to 433 in 2009. Chairman and CEO of GE Jeff Immelt said the environment during the quarter continued to improve. ‘Our business model is performing,’ Immelt said. ‘We are expanding industrial margins and realising benefits from over two years of restructuring, while increasing investment in R&D to drive profitable organic growth.’
Wind turbine manufacturer Nordex expects second-half growth to lift first quarter sales
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‘There has been no change in Nordex’s earnings in 2009 were the implementation of our stratedominated by its export busigic projects. We will be continuness that accounted for 97 per ing to invest in extensions to our cent of earnings, which stood at international structures, raise our €1.18bn in 2009 compared with facilities to a new industrial level €1.14bn in 2008. and intensify product developIts US business performed ment,’ Richterich added. particularly well, posting a 130 In April, the company unveiled per cent rise in sales to €135m, its new Gamma turbines, for the company said. which it has already received a Thomas Richterich, CEO of 295MW order. Nordex, said after the disap‘All told, Nordex emerged pointing order intake at the from the difficult conditions in beginning of the year, the Nordex’s earnings were dominated by its export business 2009 with solid balance sheet company is now seeing prelimistructures and a continued high scale this year,’ Richterich said. nary positive signals and expects equity ratio of 41 per cent [compared to Nordex said lending has started to material impetus for new growth to 38 per cent in 2008],’ it said. pick up again and many banks have emerge in the second half of 2010. In addition, it increased its gross cleaned up their balance sheets, mean‘As a result, we may be able to margins, which rose to 22.8 per cent ing that more liquidity is now available achieve a similarly top-line growth, as compared with 21.1 per cent in 2008. for project finance. in 2009 and benefit from economies of
Ecopetrol elects gov’t officials to its board Colombia’s integrated biofuel, oil and gas company, Ecopetrol, has elected a number of representatives from the government of Columbia to its board and distributed an annual per share dividend payment of COP91 ($0.05). The NYSE-listed company’s newly elected board members include Columbia’s ministers of finance, mines and energy, and the country’s director of the planning department, together with independent members Fabio Echeverri Correa, Joaquin Moreno Uribe, Ignacio Sanin Bernal, Maria Elena Velasquez, Mauricio Cardenas Santamaria and Amylkar Acosta Medina. Ecopetrol also elected Pricewaterhousecoopers as a statutory and external auditor. The COP91 ($0.05) ordinary dividend will be distributed in three installments, COP31 ($0.02) per share to be paid from 25 April 2010, COP30 ($0.02) per share to be paid from 25 August 2010 and COP30 ($0.02) per share to be paid from 15 December 2010 to shareholders who are of record, said the company. Bonds can be placed in Colombia and abroad in one or several issuances in the following years, according to the requirements of the investment plan, market conditions upon authorisation by the board of directors and government entities, the company added.
Management group appoints head of quantitative research International asset management group I2BF focused on renewable energy and clean technology, which has more than $96m in assets under management, has appointed Denis Chigirev as head of quantitative research. Physics expert Chigirev will manage a team of three focused on systematic testing of current models and developing new strategies. Aiming to utilise the untapped mathematical potential of Russian students and professors and apply their knowledge to financial and economic modelling, I2BF has developed a scientific team for research into renewable energy for its venture capital portfolio. The I2BF Arbat Clean Technology Fund was launched in November 2008 and has returned over 40 per cent since inception. I2BF was established in Silicon Valley in 2005 as an in-
Denis Chigirev, head of quantitative research, I2BF
ternational asset management group focusing on venture capital and public equity activities in the clean technology sector. All of its assets are deployed across two main funds, the $70m I2BF Holdings One and I2BF Arbat Clean Technology Fund hedge fund. The firm is also due to launch a $100m second venture capital fund and €30m Aqua fund focused on water technology investments.
Eco City hires new finance director Eco City Vehicles, which develops eco-friendly commercial vehicles and the London licensed taxi, has appointed former finance director for Mvision Video Networks and Thomson Intermedia, David Charles Trendle, as finance director. Trendle, a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, was previously finance director at Mvision Video Networks and spent almost six years as finance director at Thomson Intermedia, now called Ebiquity. Tim Yeo, chairman of ECV, said, ‘The board would like to welcome David who brings a wealth of corporate and financial experience at technology-led growth companies.’
Virgin Green Fund appoints former Yahoo! CSO as partner Private equity firm Virgin Green Fund, which is focused on growth capital investing in the renewable energy and resource efficiency sectors, has appointed Toby Coppel as a partner in its London office. Shai Weiss, partner in London, said, ‘Toby has a strong track record of principal investing in growth companies. He also has strong operational experience and will bring unique insights into the convergence of energy, communications and information technologies as we continue to distinguish Virgin Green
Fund as a leading growth capital investor in the renewable energy and resource efficiency sectors.’ Coppel formerly held a number of senior executive roles with Yahoo!, including chief strategy officer and managing director for Yahoo! Europe. While at Yahoo!, he was responsible for almost $5bn of acquisitions and investments, including the $1bn investment in Alibaba and the $1.7bn acquisition of Overture. Coppel also led a restructuring and turnaround of Yahoo’s European business in ten countries, was executive
sponsor for Yahoo’s global sustainability programme and led several initiatives including the launch of Yahoo! Green and the management of Yahoo’s carbon footprint across its global data centres and facilities. Virgin Green Fund is a growth capital investor targeting companies in the renewable energy and resource efficiency sectors, primarily in the US and Europe. Virgin Green Fund said it is supported by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and operates out of offices in London and San Francisco.
Global clean technology-focused venture capital firm Wellington Partners has appointed former Enecys executive chairman, Mossadiq Umedaly, as venture partner. Umedaly is expected to be involved in investments out of Wellington Partners’ London and Munich offices, said the firm. Umedaly has more than 20 years’ experience in growing cleantech businesses and became the executive chairman of Enecsys, a Cambridge, a UK-based solar micro-inverter company and a Wellington investment, in late 2009. From 2007-2009, he was the chairman of BC Hydro and from 1999 to 2008, he was the chairman and CEO of power electronics company Xantrex Technology, which he took public and ultimately sold in 2008 in two separate transactions to strategic acquirers, Schneider Electric and Ametek, respectively, for $500m. From 1990 to 1998, Umedaly drove the growth of fuel cell pioneer Ballard Power Systems as vice president and CFO, during which time the company went public.
German solar manufacturer Odersun enlists new COO Berlin-based solar cell manufacturer, Odersun has appointed Frank Prein as its new COO and as a member of its board of management. With 20 years of international experience in the technology and manufacturing industries, Prein joins the company from his role as managing director of technology company Qimonda’s German operations in Dresden. CEO at Odersun, Hein van der Zeeuw, said, ‘We win a very experienced COO and industryFrank Prein, COO, Odersun wide well respected colleague.’ Thin-film solar cell and module designer Odersun, which recently ramped-up 20MWp production facilities in Fuerstenwalde following a successful product certification, is backed by a cohort of international investors including Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures in the UK, Virgin Green Fund, Advanced Technology & Materials in China, PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund in the US, AGF Private Equity (a member of Allianz Group, France) and Valor, Austria.
Circadian Solar names CEO Circadian Solar, a developer of concentrated photovoltaic technology, has appointed Jeroen Heberland as CEO with immediate effect. Cirecadian said Heberland, who recently served as co-founder and CEO of German think-film photovoltaic company Johanna Solar Technology, joins to lead its strartegic development, the company said. Johanna Solar was recently acquired by Robert Bosch having been built up by Haberland from seed-stage. Prior to this he held several senior positions within the Siemens organisation and took another company from start up through to trade sale.
Greenray Solar appoints Goodreau to lead global sales US solar start-up GreenRay Solar has appointed Mark Goodreau as vice president of sales and business development to lead global sales and business development strategy and execution for the company. The company said it has hired Goodreau to drive the sales growth of its module systems through solar dealers including photovoltaic system installers, roofers, electrical contractors, retailers, and others emerging channels. Goodreau will also be responsible for developing relationships with module manufacturers, electric utilities, and other strategic partners to deliver fully integrated AC module solutions. Prior to joining GreenRay, Goodreau spent four years in the photovoltaic industry, most recently as president of Gloria Spire Solar during its formation and development, which is a joint venture between solar industry pioneer Spire Corporation and Taiwanese module manufacturer Gloria Solar.
Wellington recruits new venture partner
Forest Fuels enlists new managing director, raises finance UK biomass company Forest Fuels has raised new investment and appointed Peter Sully as managing director. Final terms were not disclosed. The company, which operated five depots in the south of the UK, supplies customers such as the National Health Service and the Ministry of Defence with biomass fuel and consultancy services. Sam Whatmore, founder of Forest Fuels, said Sully has invested a significant amount of his own money in the business as it aims to become a ‘one stop shop’ for clients considering biomass. ‘Peter’s involvement is a key development for Forest Fuels – his experience of growing and building businesses strengthens the team considerably.’ ‘With our complementary skills we will be able to drive the business forward considerably, with an increased focus on responsive and competitive services for clients.’
Universal Solar hires new CFO Universal Solar Technology, a US developer of solar grade ingot, wafers and high efficiency solar photovoltaic modules, has appointed former vice president of Dragon Gate Investment Partners, Lijie Zhu, as CFO. A member of the National Investor Relations Institute and the New York Society of Securities Analysts, Zhu brings nine years of international finance, accounting, investor relations and media experience to her role at Universal Solar Technology. ‘Lijie’s experience in a broad range of industries and companies, from start-ups to established multi-national corporations, will help Universal Solar through its rapid expansion,’ said Wensheng Chen, Universal Solar Technology’s board chairman and CEO. Most recently, she served as vice president at Dragon Gate Investment Partners, where she was responsible for raising capital for Chinese companies. Her previous positions include market research analyst at Aufhauser Securities, New York bureau chief at Global Entrepreneur Magazine, credit analyst at Rogge Global Partners, and assistant director at China Center Television. Universal Solar Technology manufacturers solar products including solar silicon material and provides solar power systems.
Affinity appoints former Geneseo head as COO US wind developer Affinity Wind has appointed former general manager and president of Geneseo Municipal Utilities, Kenneth R Stock, as its COO. Before joining Affinity, Stock was former operations manager for Dynegy at one of the largest coal generation facilities in Illinois. Previously, at municipal electric, water and gas utility Geneseo Municipal Utilities, he was solely responsible for the planning, development, construction and operation of the
company’s commercial wind project. ‘Ken Stock has extensive utility and power generation and expertise,’ said Trey Goede, CEO, Affinity Wind. ‘We look forward to ongoing growth at Affinity Wind as Ken assumes this integral position.’ Formed in 2008, Affinity Wind is an independent company focused on the development, ownership and management of wind projects that is currently developing a 150MW utility scale project in Illinois.
US Community Energy recruits David Giordano as CFO and COO Formerly with FPL Energy and then Babcock & Brown North American Energy Group, David Giordano, has joined US renewable energy development consultant Community Energy as CFO and COO. At Babcock & Brown, Giordano closed over $4bn of wind transactions and at FPL Energy, he was part of the team that completed the first bond offering on wind assets, an investment grade credit rating raising nearly $400m of new capital. ‘We have seen David’s talent at work on many projects over many years, and are excited to have him on the Community Energy team, particularly now as we jump back into the capital markets and expand project development. With solar projects surging forward and wind generation continuing to grow, David brings the development and finance leadership that is the key to delivering renewable energy projects at scale,’ said Brent Alderfer, CEO of Community Energy.
BrightView appoints global business director to spearhead Asian expansion Israel solar technology service provider BrightView Systems has appointed Hai Benron as its new director of global business, as it gears up for commercial expansion and targets the Asian markets. In addition, Ariel Ben-Porath, the current vice president of marketing has been named vice president of marketing and business development to focus on strategy, customer needs and business opportunities in the thin-film photovoltaic markets. BrightView provides inline metrology-based process control and opti-
misation tools for thin-film solar cell manufacturing. Benron joins with more than 20 years experience in new product development and will spearhead the company’s growth into the Asia-Pacific region, it said. Benron joins with experience in market penetration for the electronic manufacturing industry, primarily semiconductors, packaging and assembly. Ben-Porath joined BrightView in 2008 having held senior management positions in the process control and semiconductor market during ten
years with Applied Materials. Benny Shoham, CEO of BrightView Systems, said the company’s in-line metrology solutions are aimed towards thin-film photovoltaic producers that are seeking to improve their panel efficiency and long-term reliability. ‘As part of the company’s commercial expansion, we are strengthening our marketing efforts with Ben-Porath and welcoming Benron who will drive our penetration into the fast growing solar regions in Asia Pacific and expand our sales and field operations worldwide.’
First Reserve hires Burkhardt as renewables asset manager industry experience in the US, Europe and Asia with General Electric, where he managed an 800MW portfolio of operating wind and solar power generation facilities in addition to developing thermal and steam power facilities. ‘Phil’s addition to our team builds on First Reserve’s energy industry specialisation and, with his operations capabilities in both natural gas and renewable power, expands our operational expertise,’ said Mark Florian, managing director at First Reserve. ‘His longstanding experience managing
Løseth steps up as CEO for Vattenfall, creates subsidiary The new president and CEO of Europe’s fifth-largest energy utility Vattenfall, Øystein Løseth, who took charge on Monday, has formed a new group subsidiary that is focused on the development of hydrogen vehicles and intelligent systems for electricity distribution. Løseth, who succeeds Lars Josefsson, is the first non-Swede to run the utility and comes from the position as CEO of Dutch company Nuon Energy. The new development company, named Vattenfall Europe Innovation, is the fourth of its kind that Vattenfall has set up in Hamburg in recent years. During the second half of the year, Vattenfall will begin in conjunction with DB Energie and Hamburg Energie to set up 100 charging posts for electric cars, which will supply current from renewable energy sources, it said. Oliver Weinmann, CEO of Vattenfall Europe Innovation, said electric cars are an example of how renewable energy can be integrated optimally in our electricity supply system in future. ‘We see this reorientation as an opportunity for ourselves and our customers. The new company will
Ø ysten Løseth, CEO, Vattenfall
follow new trends and develop appropriate products and supporting techniques,’ he said. Løseth previously worked at Nuon Energy, which is 49 per cent owned by Vattenfall, since 2003 and served as its CEO of since April 2008. Last November, he was appointed first senior executive vice president in Vattenfall and deputy CEO for the group.
global power assets complements our commitment to creating value throughout the investment cycle beginning with a rigorous asset management process.’ Burkhardt joins First Reserve following a six-month search process and expands the infrastructure team to 11 dedicated infrastructure investment professionals within the broader 73 person investment team. He will be based in the US, but will be actively involved in power investments in US and Europe, said the company.
Wilhelm to head PV industry’s EPIA The appointment of Italian utility Enel Green Power’s executive vice president Ingmar Wilhelm as president of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) represents the strong interest within the photovoltaic (PV) industry to move further down the value chain to electricity generation, the association said. The EPIA said Wilhelm’s appointment as a key figure in the renewable energy arm of the Italian utility Enel marks the beginning of a new chapter for it and demonstrates the increasing attractiveness that the European energy industry sees in the future potential of photovoltaic technologies. In 2009, EPIA released its SET For 2020 study that aimed to establish a roadmap for its aim to make PV a mainstream source of electricity generation in the next ten years. Adel El Gammal, secretary general of EPIA, said the accession of Enel Green Power to the presidency of EPIA, marks the evolution of the industry’s focus from technology and production towards electricity generation. ‘It creates a strong additional momentum to accelerate the implementation of the PV industry’s SET For 2020 roadmap,’ El Gammal said.
Private equity firm First Reserve, specialising in the energy industry, has expanded its infrastructure team with the appointment of renewable energy expert Phil Burkhardt as infrastructure asset manager. Burkhardt will be responsible for the due diligence and team analysis of new investments, business planning for newly acquired assets, and long-term asset management and plan implementation for infrastructure investments, said the company. He has more than 30 years’ power
DEAL RADAR Deal Radar provides information on the growth and financing plans of the industry’s most exciting energy and technology companies. Our analysts research and select the most promising companies, both private and publicly listed, which are being acclaimed as existing or potential industry leaders. Deal Radar is designed to bring these companies to the attention of institutional and professional investors as well as prospective business partners and customers, around the world.
Our aim is to provide the global clean energy sector’s community of investors, innovators and deal-makers with insights on the future direction of the industry and with exclusive details about deals on the horizon.
Funding Opportunity: €10m ($13.3m) Funding Type: Equity Investment Timescale: 3-12 months
Are you looking for investment? Let the right people know. With our Deal Radar section, the industry’s most exciting emerging companies will get exposure to Envirotech and Clean Energy Investor’s distribution base of investment professionals from over 1,000 investment institutions and over 400 private equity and venture capital firms. If you know of a company or investment opportunity that merits the attention of the industry’s most active investors, please contact Chris Hardman at:
Email: Deals@EnvirotechInvestor.com Phone: +44 (0)20 7845 7576
Company Profile: Founded in 2004, Dublin, Ireland-based DecaWave designs and produces wireless, energy-efficient chip communication technologies. The management team brings experience from the communications and semiconductor industries, with previous roles involving software development, wireless systems design and business development. To date, the company has raised €4m of investment from private investors, as well as Enterprise Ireland, and has previously partnered with DIT, Hothouse and the Digital Hub in Dublin. In December 2009, the company signed a module partnership agreement with Korean electronics company LG Innotek, under which LG will manufacture modules based on the company’s SenSor design. LG will be the exclusive module supplier for Asia, has committed to an advance order and has agreed to minimum quantity orders from 2013 onwards, according to the company. DecaWave is currently working with several companies to develop applications for its technology, principally in the areas of manufacturing, healthcare, lighting, security, transport, inventory and supply chain management.
Funding Opportunity: DecaWave is planning to raise €10m in equity investment in two tranches (Series A of €2m and Series B of €8m). The company expects to close its Series A round within the next two to three months, while the Series B is expected to be raised over the next nine to 12 months. The company envisages that this will enable it to reach cash flowpositive status by 2011 and profitability by 2012, without further investment rounds. Technology: DecaWave has developed proprietary Ultra-Wideband technologies that enable the precision tracking and locating of objects using low-cost, low-power wireless transceivers. The company’s ‘ScenSor’ chip consumes less than two per cent of power consumed by existing solutions when transmitting, and five per cent when receiving, according to the company. This is capable of locating objects indoors to a precision of 10cm from a range of 500m with line of sight and 45 metres with no line of sight. DecaWave currently has three patents pending for its technology. Business Plan: DecaWave plans to use new funds raised to bring its ScenSor chip to production, as well as initially target the top ten industry players in the healthcare/medical, electronic point of sale, building control, aerospace/military, agriculture and manufacturing/warehousing sectors. The company plans to sub-contract the manufacture of its products, thereby avoiding capital expenditure of establishing in-house manufacturing facilities. DecaWave will sell its products either directly to its end customers or through module manufacturers. Source: Interview with management Contact: Ciaran Connell, CEO Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DEAL RADAR Italy
Funding Opportunity: €11m ($14.6m) Funding Type: Equity Investment/Debt Timescale: 6-36 months
Company Profile: Founded as a spin-out from Trieste University in 2008, Italy-based Nanoxer develops thermal insulation technologies. The company has previously received approximately €500,000 in funding, comprising grants from regional government, as well as investment from investment bank Advicorp, chemical manufacturer SERICHEM and ship manufacturer Fincantieri, with which it is working to develop its technology. The company’s management team brings experience in launching high-tech start-ups, as well as the development and manufacturing of chemicals and materials. Nanoxer is also working in partnership with Advicorp, and has signed agreements with a global distributor of Thermal Superinsulators, as well as thermal insulation installation/application specialists, according to CEO Antonio Sfiligoj.
Funding Opportunity: Nanoxer is planning to raise €11m, of which €6m will be equity, in three tranches over the next three years. Nanoxer plans to raise €1.5m by the end of 2010, €4.5m by the end of 2011 and €5m (debt) by the end of 2013. The company projects that by 2013 it will generate annual revenues of €22m, with an estimated net income of €3.1m.
Business Plan: Nanoxer is planning to use new funds to scale-up production in order to deliver orders to new and existing lead customers. The company has identified a pre-existing manufacturing plant currently operated by SERICHEM that can be developed for this purpose. The first tranche (€1.5m) of funding will be used for pilot production and development of this site, while the second tranche (€4.5m) will be used to scale-up manufacture. Nanoxer also plans to undertake further R&D in order to expand its product portfolio. A third round of investment is planned to boost further growth and fund international expansion. The company also plans to licence and co-manufacture its technology. Source: Interview with management
Contact: Antonio Sfiligoj, CEO Email: Antonio.email@example.com USA
Funding Opportunity: $900,000 Funding Type: Equity Investment Timescale: 3-6 months
Tel: +39 040 558 3960 Energy Efficiency
Technology: Nanoxer produces lightweight, flame-resistant insulating material that can withstand temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius without compromising its core characteristics, according to CEO Sfiligoj. The company claims that this can be installed easily and cheaply and reduces thermal conductivity by almost 70 per cent compared to conventional ceramic blankets. Nanoxer’s technology can be used for fire protection applications, as well as energy saving within industrial heat processes. Target markets for the company’s products include power generation (especially solar), ship-building and construction. The company has multiple patents on its technology pending in both the EU and US.
Smart Office Energy Solutions
Company Profile: Founded in 2009, Houston, Texas-based Smart Office Energy Solutions (Smart OES) offers solutions for energy efficiency improvements within office buildings. The management team brings start-up and business development experience from within the energy and IT industries. The company has to date received $150,000 from angel investors, while current customers include IBM, GlaxoSmithKline, Cambridge University and the UK government, according to CEO Bryan Guido Hassin.
Funding Opportunity: Smart OES is planning to raise $900,000 in equity investment over the next three to six months. Technology: Smart OES has developed a series of proprietary devices that wirelessly connect smart meters and power sockets, allowing companies to identify and address sources of inefficiency, automatically shut-off power to devices not in use, as well as measure and compare individual employee energy use. This enables a reduction in energy consumption of up to 30 per cent, according to the company, as well as pay-back within one to two years. The company also provides a web-based reporting facility to facilitate communication of energy efficiency improvements to company stakeholders, as well as valueadded services, such as remote energy monitoring and optimisation. Business Plan: With the technology powering its management systems fully developed, according to CEO Hassin, SMART OES plans to use new funding to market its services and pursue potential customers. The company plans initially to target companies and office building managers and owners with over 100 employees in the US. The company has established a network of partners to provide support for installation of its hardware, which will continue to be manufactured in China. Source: Interview with management
Contact: Bryan Guido Hassin, CEO Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +1 832 303 9797
DEAL RADAR Australia
Funding Opportunity: AUD$3m-AUD$5m ($2.8-$4.6m) Funding Type: Equity Investment Timescale: 6-12 months
Company Profile: Founded in 1999, unlisted New South Wales-based SolarSailor develops wind and solar technology for application in hybrid boats. The management team brings corporate finance, marketing and solar technology research experience, and includes former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke. The company has recently raised AUD$1.4m from existing shareholders as a convertible note, taking total funding raised to date to $8.4m, including $3m from German venture capital firm Mithril in 2006 and an AUD$1m government grant. Other shareholders include Immosolar and Solon. SolarSailor is also currently in the process of applying for another AUD$1.2m Australian government grant. The company owns a 100-passenger hybrid cruise ship that has been operating in Sydney Harbour for eight years and recently delivered one commercial passenger vessel incorporating its technology to the Hong Kong Jockey Club, with a further three due in June. In 2008, SolarSailor entered into a design and development contract with Suntech Power Hong Kong Ltd for a vessel to be operated at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. The company is currently processing an order pipeline of 15 vessels from customers within China, according to CEO Robert Dane.
Funding Opportunity: SolarSailor is planning to raise AUD$3-5m from a strategic partner over the next 12 months.
Technology: SolarSailor’s technology utilises multiple sources of power including solar, stored battery power and liquid fuels (including biofuels) to power boats. This hybrid marine power system collects renewable energy via the company’s patented solar sail, which collects both wind and solar energy. This technology can lead to a reduction of fuel consumption of up to 70 per cent for tourism vessels, with savings of 17 per cent independently verified during recent trial of the company’s ferry in Hong Kong, according to CEO Dane. The technology can be used in a range of applications, from small unmanned vessels to large ocean liners. The company does not build boats itself, but rather supplies the technology to boat builders, owners and operators. SolarSailor holds several patents on its technologies. Business Plan: With R&D completed, according to CEO Dane, SolarSailor plans to use new funding raised to establish an in-house engineering team, purchase manufacturing equipment and market its products. The company will initially focus on the ferry business and then develop further applications for its technology, for instance within the luxury yacht market. The company has also agreed to undertake a feasibility study with a large Japanese shipping company, and plans to pursue an MoU signed in 2008 with China Ocean Shipping Company to develop its technologies for use on tanker ships. SolarSailor also plans to pursue development of its technologies for use in unmanned vessels with partner UOV and the US military. In the short-term, the company plans to focus on Asian markets. Source: Interview with management Contact: Robert Dane, CEO Email: email@example.com USA
Funding Opportunity: $5m-$7m Funding Type: Equity Investment Timescale: 8-12 months
Company Profile: Founded in 2006, Austin, Texas-based Green Collar Operations offers comprehensive energy efficiency improvement services. Self-funded to date, the company started generating revenues in 2008 and is currently profitable. The management team brings expertise from the energy-efficiency sector, while Green Collar is currently developing a partnership with the largest building supply company in USA, according to CEO Andrew Ewig.
Funding Opportunity: Green Collar Operations is planning to raise $5-7m in equity investment in eight to 12 months. Technology: Green Collar offers a comprehensive range of services designed to improve the energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings. These services include installation of insulation, application of heat-repelling paint and air duct sealing. The company’s services can reduce utility bills from 20-30 per cent, according to CEO Ewig Business Plan: Green Collar Operations plans to use new funds to expand within Texas before pursuing identified distribution channels in California. The company will then implement a national expansion plan, and will seek to establish a sales organisation to sell franchises throughout the US by 2012. Source: Interview with management
Contact: Andrew Ewig, CEO Email: Andrew@greencollaroperations.com
DEAL RADAR Israel
Funding Opportunity: $4m Funding Type: Equity Investment Timescale: 3-6 months
Company Profile: Founded in 2007, Israel- and US-based Coriolis Wind develops a modular, mid-scale array of vertical-axis wind turbines. The management team brings more than 40 years’ experience in developing start-up companies, including Chromatics Networks, which was acquired by Lucent for $4.75bn in 2000. The technology development team brings experience from previous roles in the wind industry, mechanics and system engineering. The company was seed-funded by Israel-based incubator Precede Technologies and closed a Series-A round, led by Pitango Venture Capital, in early 2009. Total funding to date is $4.3m. The company has been working closely with a large energy services company and has completed a technology collaboration and commercial distribution agreement, according to vice president of marketing Jeff Kunst.
Funding Opportunity: Coriolis Wind is planning to raise $10m in equity investment during Q3 2010. Around $4m of this is expected to be raised from existing investors. With an initial target market in the US, the company would ideally like a USbased lead investor within a syndication that also includes international investors. This investment will sustain the company for approximately 18 months, according to Kunst, after which it will look to raise C-round funding in late 2011 or early2012 to cover production and distribution costs, as well as to provide working capital.
Business Plan: With field tests of a scaled-down WindScreen system underway, Coriolis plans to use new funds to complete development and deploy full-scale trial systems in Israel and the US, as well as build sales, marketing, operating and field engineering teams in the US. The company’s initial target will be the US distributed wind market. Source: Interview with management
Contact: Dr Rafi Gidron, CEO Email: firstname.lastname@example.org USA
Funding Opportunity: $1m Funding Type: Equity Investment Timescale: 6-12 months
Tel: +972 3 648 6014 Solar
Technology: Coriolis’ WindScreen system consists of an array of vertical-axis turbines designed from the ground up for mid-scale, distributed wind markets. The modular and scalable nature of the design enables the system to generate from 50kW to more than a megawatt according to specific requirements, and can be expanded in response to growing demand. The company claims that this design is easier to transport and install than conventional turbines, with less requirement for specialised equipment. Coriolis has several patents pending on its technology.
Company Profile: Founded in 2004, Colorado-based Sunflower Corporation develops hybrid lighting systems. The management team brings experience from roles within business development, engineering, solar energy research and cleantech investing. To date the company has received investment totalling $1.2m from angel investors and Coloradobased Aravaipa Ventures. The company has also applied for grants totalling $1.3m from the US Department of Energy and has already installed several ‘Daylighting Systems’ throughout Colorado, for office, retail and civic customers. Sunflower is currently working with a large strategic partner to develop complementary technologies, and has also established several distribution partnerships, according to CEO Peter Novak.
Funding Opportunity: Sunflower Corporation is planning to raise $1m in equity investment over the next three to six months. This should enable the company to reach cash-flow positive status in 2011, according to CEO Novak. Investors with experience within the commercial construction industry would be especially welcome. Depending on rate of growth, the company may seek further funding to pursue international expansion and product development. Technology: The company’s Sundolier system tracks the sun’s movement in order to deliver high levels of evenly distributed daylight to interior spaces. This technology necessitates relatively little roof penetration and avoids the glare, hot spots and solar heat gain associated with direct beam lighting systems. The Sundolier is cheaper and more consistent than other passive and active daylighting solutions, according to CEO Novak, while its effectiveness does not depend on the angle of the sun or building position. The Sundolier saves energy use through reducing demand for synthetic lighting and air conditioning, according to the company. Each installation can provide lighting for up to 2,500 square feet of floor space. The company has several patents pending, with more in the pipeline. Business Plan: Sunflower Corporation plans to use new funding to increase its sales and marketing activities as well as continue R&D work, with the aim of accelerating cost reductions and expanding its hybrid lighting product portfolio. The company said it plans to focus initially in the south-west US, especially California, but is open to international expansion. Sunflower is currently processing an order from a sub-Saharan Africa-based client. The company’s management envisages exiting via an industry sale within four to five years. Source: Interview with management Contact: Peter Novak, CEO Email: email@example.com www.EnvirotechInvestor.com
Tel: +1 720 468 0232
DEAL RADAR USA
Funding Opportunity: $2.5m Funding Type: Equity Investment Timescale: 3-6 months
Rotating Sleeve Engine Technologies
Company Profile: Established in 2000 as a spin-out from the US Department of Energyfunded Engine Research Programme at the University of Texas, Texas-based Rotating Sleeve Engine Technologies (RSET) develops technologies to improve the efficiency of internal combustion engines. The management team brings expertise from the energy sector, while to date the company has received around $800,000 from angel investors, as well as US Department of Energy grants. RSET is currently in discussions with an automotive manufacturer regarding a potential partnership following beta engine testing.
Funding Opportunity: RSET is planning to raise $2.5m over the next three to six months. Technology: RSET is in the process of developing a design based on the established Sleeve-valve engine design used in World War 2 aeroplanes. This design reduces piston assembly friction, thus increasing energy efficiency, as well as reducing emissions and operating costs, according to director of technology Dr Dimitrios Dardalis. The company has built and demonstrated a first prototype design. Business Plan: RSET plans to use new funding to construct a second prototype engine, operating on modern diesel cylinder pressure, and estimates that this process will take approximately six months to complete, at a cost of $100,000. The company will then test its technology at a third-party testing facility, with the aim of attracting additional financing, licensees or company buyers. This process will also enable the company to quantify the fuel efficiency and emissions benefits of applying its technology in a heavy-duty diesel design. RSET estimates that the process will take 18 months to complete. Source: Interview with management
Contact: Dr Dimitrios Dardalis, Director of Technology Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +1 512 482 8017 USA
Funding Opportunity: $500,000-$1m Funding Type: Equity Investment Timescale: 3-6 months
Company Profile: Founded in 2003 as a semiconductor fabrication spin-out from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York-based Widetronix is commercialising small, long-life solidstate ‘microgenerators’ for microelectronics, called betavoltaics. The management team brings experience in commercialising early-stage technologies, project management and more than 50 years in semiconductor engineering. In 2008, the company received seed funding totalling $250,000 from DFJ and DFJ Gotham Ventures, but has been funded primarily through research contracts with the US Department of Defense, as well as development capital from partners. Thus far in 2010, Widetronix has raised $2.3m from these sources.The company has significant interest from several US defense agencies, according to CEO Jonathan Greene, and is also working in partnership Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control, amongst others. The company currently manufactures its products at the Cornell Nanoscale Facility.
Funding Opportunity: Widetronix is planning to raise $1m in equity investment from strategic investors over the next three to six months and plans to raise a $3m Series-A round in 2011. Technology: Since 2007, Widetronix has focused on developing betavoltaic ‘microgenerators’ that can provide a small amount of consistent energy over a defined period of time, according to CEO Greene. A proprietary semiconductr made of silicon carbide captures electrons emitted from decaying isotopes, which can be customised within different applications in order to provide a range of operational lifetimes, from 25 days to 100 years. Widetronix claims that, at a small scale, its products can provide higher energy density than traditional lithium-ion batteries, which are also prone to leaking over time. The comapny views betavoltaics as complimentary to power storage and other energy harvesting technologies. Applications include remote sensing devices, security systems and small medical implants. Widetronix has licensed one patent held by Cornell University, and has several more pending. Business Plan: Widetronix plans to use new funds to complete the development and certification of its one microwatt microgenerator for medical implants and defence applications. The company plans to commence the certification process in August 2010 and hopes to deliver sales by the end of 2011. Widetronix will then develop its product portfolio and plans to undertake further R&D with established partners. The Series-A funding will be used to scale power levels into the 10s and 100s of microwatts. The company requires an additional $5m over the next two years, and estimates that its contracts currently pending will deliver $3m. Source: Interview with management Contact: Jonathan Greene, CEO Email: email@example.com
Tel: +1 607 330 4752
DEAL RADAR USA
Funding Opportunity: $500,000 Funding Type: Equity Investment Timescale: 3-6 months
Company Profile: Founded in 2007, California-based EcoNexus provides energy saving services to commercial, industrial and municipal buildings. The management team has previous experience working with 13 other start-ups, and more than 20 years’ experience in software development. Board members have previously worked for Microsoft, IBM and Sun Microsystems, amongst others. The company has been self-funded to date, investing $250,000, and is valued at approximately $2m, according to CEO Glen Loughton. EcoNexus has also established a licensing agreement with an ESCO based in California.
Funding Opportunity: EcoNexus is planning to raise $500,000 in equity investment from angel investors over the next six months. The company believes that this investment will be sufficient to reach profitability by the end of 2010, and does not foresee requiring further funding. Technology: EcoNexus provides integrated sub-meter hardware and software solutions to measure, monitor and control (in real time) energy use within large buildings. This technology allows building managers to execute demand management and fair billing systems. The company also works with the owners and management of these buildings to manage energy-saving retrofits. The company’s target markets are owners and managers of commercial, industrial and municipal buildings. Business Plan: EcoNexus plans to use the majority (60 per cent) of new funds for sales and marketing, with 20 per cent devoted to R&D activities and the remainder to cover operating costs. Source: Interview with management
Funding Opportunity: $2.7m Funding Type: Equity Investment Timescale: 3-18 months
Tel: +1 925 348 9450 Energy Efficiency
Current Motor Company
Company Profile: Founded in 2008, Michigan, US-based Current Motor Company (CMC) designs and manufactures all-electric scooters. The management team brings startup experience, as well as more than 20 years working within the electric vehicle industry with companies such as VW, Chrysler and Tata. To date, the company has received around $300,000 from its founders and an angel investor, and is currently processing orders for its scooter model.
Contact: Glen Laughton, CEO Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Funding Opportunity: CMC is planning to raise $700,000 in equity over the next six months, and will target further funding of $2m in 2011. The company believes that this will be sufficient to enable it to reach cash-flow positive status by 2012. Of particular interest are investors with consumer brand-building experience. Technology: CMC develops emission-free, all-electric scooters. The company claims that travel using its vehicles costs $0.15 per mile, in comparison to $0.30 per mile for conventional petrol scooters. The company delivered its first scooter in January 2010, which can reach 70mph, travel up to 80 miles on a single charge and has a charge-time of between three and six hours. The company is preparing to launch its electric moped, which will have a range of 40 miles and a charge time of three to four hours. CMC has developed a proprietary battery management system that enables increased battery life and shorter charge time, according to company president Peter Scott. The company claims that total charge-times could be reduced to 20 minutes using 240V fast-charge points. CMC’s scooters require less maintenance than petrol-fuelled vehicles, and compare favourably in terms or price and performance with other electric scooters, according to Scott. The company has one patent pending, with several more in the pipeline. Business Plan: CMC will continue to sell to early adapters through internet marketing and at its dealership in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The company will also pursue strategic partnerships with dealer networks in selected markets such as San Francisco and Miami. The scooters will be sold at traditional scooter retailers, as well as ‘green’ retailers. Within two years, the company will look to build a widespread dealer network, pursuing new market segments such as resorts and rental fleets, as well as entering the European market. The company has identified China, India and Brazil as attractive markets to enter and will continue to undertake R&D activities tin order to improve its designs. Source: Interview with management Contact: Peter Scott, President Email: email@example.com
Tel: +1 734 355 8084
DEAL RADAR USA
Funding Opportunity: $5m Funding Type: Equity Investment Timescale: 6 months
Company Profile: Founded in 2004, Ithaca, New York-based Aerofarms develops technologies for efficient crop-growing applications. The company received $500,000 of seed capital from 21Ventures and the Quercus Trust in 2009, and has established strong R&D partnerships with Cornell University, RPI Lighting Research Centre and NCSU’s College of Textiles. AeroFarms is currently undertaking the final stage of negotiations to secure a $1.5m sale, according to CEO Dr Ed Harwood.
Funding Opportunity: Aerofarms is planning to raise $5m in equity investment over the next six months. The company believes that this will allow it to break even by the end of Q1 2011 and may seek further investment in 2012 to fund international expansion. Investors with experience of the LED lighting industry, national/international agricultural and pharmaceutical industries would be particularly welcome, the company said.
Technology: Aerofarms utilises an aeroponic system to enable year-round crop growth in the absence of soil and sunlight. This technology delivers the nutrients, hydration and oxygen required by plants directly to their roots via a mist, reducing water consumption compared to soil-based methods. The company has also developed a proprietary, reusable cloth as an alternative to soil, as well as a light-emitting diode (LED) system, which allows for integrated pest management and reduced energy consumption compared to HPS lighting systems. Crops grown in this system require no pesticides, and exhibit a longer shelf-life, higher yields and shorter growth-cycles than those grown through traditional means, according to Harwood. This can enable decentralised, commercial-scale ‘vertical-farming’ within urban areas, and provide a use for obsolete buildings. Aerofarms has one patent pending for its technology. Business Plan: AeroFarms plans to use new funds to secure new R&D facilities and continue to undertake collaborative research into optimal lighting conditions for crop growth. The company also intends to recruit new staff in preparation for production and distribution of its technologies. Source: Interview with management Contact: Dr Ed Harwood, CEO Email: firstname.lastname@example.org USA
Funding Opportunity: $750,000 Funding Type: Equity Investment Timescale: 3-6 months
Company Profile: Based in Colorado, US, SunTrac Solar develops water-heating solar technologies for commercial and industrial users. The management team embodies over 15 years of experience with developing technology start-ups, as well as 30 years’ experience in the renewable energy industry, and lean manufacturing consulting and business development. SunTrac is currently processing its first manufacturing run of 100 panels, and has a sales pipeline of more than 500 units, according to CEO Adam Rentschler.
Funding Opportunity: SunTrac Solar is planning to raise $750,000 in debt or equity investment over the next three to six months. The company estimates that this will enable it to reach profitability within two years. Technology: SunTrac’s panel incorporates tracking parabolic concentrating collectors within an enclosed flat plate box. This enables low installation costs with high energy yields, according to Rentschler. The panels are designed for commercial and industrial users, for which the company claims its technology offers more favourable pay-back than competitor technologies. A straightforward assembly process enables the manufacturing to be economically undertaken in the US, while the system is also designed to be maintained and replaced by non-specialised contractors. The company holds one US patent, with several more in the pipeline. Business Plan: With the company currently producing its fourth generation solar panel, R&D activities have been completed, according to CEO Rentschler. New funding will therefore be used to cover operating costs and to build sales and marketing capabilities. The company intends initially to target lead markets it has identified based on legacy fuel prices and local incentives. Hawaii, Arizona and California have been identified as initial target markets. SunTrac will then pursue markets in remaining US states, southern Europe and Asia, and is seeking to establish partnerships with distribution and sales companies. Source: Interview with management
Contact: Adam Rentschler, CEO Email: email@example.com
Tel: +1 303 526 0520
DEAL RADAR Canada
Funding Opportunity: $5.5m Funding Type: Equity Investment Timescale: 3-6 months
Company Profile: Founded in 2004, Canada-based Magenn Power designs and develops airborne, high altitude wind turbines. The management team brings experience developing technology start-ups, as well as from within the airship industry. CEO Pierre Rivard was formerly CEO at NASDAQ-listed Hydrogenics, overseeing its $76m IPO. In 2009, the company’s wholly-owned US subsidiary Magenn Power LLC established a research centre at NASA Ames Research Park in California. To date the company has received a total of $12.5m in funding, consisting of $9.5m from Series A and B rounds and a convertible debenture with the Quercus Trust, as well as $3m from angel investors and government sources. Magenn recently signed an memorandum of understanding to conduct a demonstration project with Tata Power, according to CEO Rivard.
Funding Opportunity: Megenn Power is planning to raise $5.5m in equity investment over the next six months. The company believes that with this investment it can become self-sustaining by 2013. Magenn will look to raise further capital in 2014, as it scales-up its technology, and is especially interested in speaking to European or Asian investors, it said.
Business Plan: Magenn plans to use new funds to work with strategic partners to scale-up its prototype and develop its MARS 100KW turbines for early-adopting applications such as disaster response, military and telecoms use. The company also intends to hire key technical personnel for its California development site. From 2012 the company will target opportunities connected with irrigation, desalination and communications expansion in the developing world. From 2014, Magenn will also target the large onshore and offshore wind-farm markets. The company also plans to generate revenues through emission reduction credits, and has signed a contract with Cantor CO2e to manage these. The company is actively seeking distribution partners for its MARS system. Source: Interview with management Contact: Pierre Rivard, CEO Email: firstname.lastname@example.org USA
Funding Opportunity: $5-8m Funding Type: Equity Investment Timescale: 3-6 months
Technology: Magenn’s Power Air Rotor System (MARS) is a high altitude (up to 1,000 feet), lighter-than-air tethered wind energy device that rotates around a horizontal axis. This design can exploit the stronger and more constant winds that exist at altitude and can generate greater quantities of electricity at cheaper prices compared to traditional turbines, according to CEO Rivard. The company also estimates that the flexibility afforded by its mobile devices will triple the number of sites suitable for economical windmill deployment, and will also make offshore deployment more economical. The company holds a US, as well as multiple international patents, with more pending.
USA Signal Technologies
Company Profile: Texas-based USA Signal Technologies was established in 2003 and designs and manufactures efficient, intelligent and wireless products for traffic management and the railway industry. The company’s management team brings experience from roles in engineering, manufacturing and business development. Previous/current customers include the Louisiana Department of Transportation, New Mexico Rail Bureau and the City of Los Angeles. To date, the company has raised $2.8m from angel investors and has $5m-$6m of pending orders in the pipeline, according to director Mike Russin.
Funding Opportunity: USA Signal Technology is planning to raise $5m-$8m in equity over the next three to six months. The company believes that this will be sufficient to reach profitability within one to three years. Technology: USA Signal Technology has developed more than 25 products and systems for the intersection traffic signal, road and rail traffic management markets. The company claims that its products contain several innovations that are superior to competing designs. For example, it has developed a surge suppression circuit that improves durability and lifespan of signal systems. The company’s signal system consumes around ten per cent of standard lighting systems, according to Russin. USA Signal Technology holds 17 patents on its technologies. Business Plan: USA Signal Technologies plans to use new funds to process its existing order pipeline and establish a customer relations and sales team. The company is also in the process of recruiting two additional partners to assist with business development. Initial focus will be on the US market, while the company may seek further funding in order to develop new smart technologies. Source: Interview with management Contact: Mike Russin, Director Email: email@example.com
Tel: +1 952 471 1121
DEAL TRACKER A round-up of deals publically announced in the past month from around the world, including venture capital investments, private equity transactions, flotations, refinancing, rights issues, mergers, acquisitions, project financings and major contracts.
AFRICA Kenya Deal Type: Project Finance Total Amount: KES23.4bn ($303m) Investor: Japanese government
Kenya Generating Electricity Co
The Japanese government has agreed to provide a KES23.4bn ($303m) loan for expansion of the Olkaria I geothermal plant in Kenya. The expansion will increase the generating capacity of the plant, which is owned by Kenya Generating Electricity Co (KenGen) by 140MW. KenGen has also announced that it is in talks with World Bank, the European Investment Bank, Germanyâ€™s KfW Entwicklungsbank and the French Development Agency about further loans for the project, which is expected to cost $980m in total. Source: News reports
Kenya Deal Type: Project Finance Total Amount: KES7.5bn ($97.1m) Investor: Export-Import Bank of China
Kenya Generating Electricity Co
Kenya Generating Electricity Co has also received a loan for a plant in the Olkaria IV geothermal field from Chinese state-owned Export-Import Bank of China for KES7.5bn ($97.1m). The money will be used to drill 26 steam production wells, providing 40MW of energy at the field in Rift Valley. Source: News reports
ASIA China Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchaser: Global Green Power PLC
DP Cleantech/Poyry Energy
Chinese biomass power plant solution provider DP Cleantech and Finnish consultancy Poyry Energy have been selected by Global Green Power PLC to deliver two 17.5MW multi-fuelled biomass plants to be located in Iloilo and Nueva Ecija, Philippines. The letter of intent also included delivery of another 35MW plant in Bukidnon, Philippines. The three biomass power plants will utilise indigenous agricultural waste such as rice husk, sugar cane residue and rice straw. Source: Company announcement
China Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchaser: Grenzone
Changzhou Trina Solar Energy
Changzhou Trina Solar Energy, a subsidiary of NYSE-listed solar manufacturer Trina Solar, has established a strategic partnership with system integrator Grenzone. The company was awarded the contract to design and build a 2.2MW turnkey photovoltaic power plant in the north-east region of Thailand, and Trina Solar will supply approximately 9,600 high quality photovoltaic modules to Grenzone for the project, which is expected to go online in August 2010. Source: Company announcement
China Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchaser: Phoenix Solar
NYSE-listed Chinese multicrystalline solar wafer manufacturer LDK Solar has signed a contract to supply solar modules to Germany-based Phoenix Solar. Under terms of the agreement, LDK Solar will deliver approximately 20MW of solar modules from their headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Xinyu City, Jiangxi Province, during the second calendar quarter of 2010. Source: Company announcement
China Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: RMB50bn ($7.3bn) Debt Provider: China Development Bank
China Development Bank has signed a framework agreement to lend Chinese solar company Suntech Power Holdings up to RMB50bn ($7.33bn) in a non-binding agreement over a five-year period. The loan is reportedly for general purposes, including expanding capacity. Source: News reports
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ASIA (Continued) China Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: RMB30bn ($4.4bn) Debt Provider: China Development Bank
China Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: RMB5bn ($732m) Debt Provider: Agricultural Bank of China
China Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Far East Wind Power
The China Development Bank has signed a framework agreement to lend Chinese solar module manufacturer Trina Solar RMB30bn ($4.4bn) until 2015. Source: News reports
Guodian United Power
Chinese wind company Guodian United Power, a subsidiary of China Guodian Group, has sealed a credit line agreement with the Agricultural Bank of China for RMB5bn ($732m). Source: News report
Wuhan Guoce Nordic New Energy
Wind farm developer Far East Wind Power has entered into an agreement with Chinese company Wuhan Guoce Nordic New Energy to acquire the rights to a number of development stage wind farm projects in the Jilin Province and Inner Mongolia regions. The proposed projects included within the letter of intent will be acquired from Guoce for cash and other considerations subject to agreed-upon financing. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Share Issue Total Amount: $14m Investors: Cavico Vietnam, Cavico Transport
Cavico Renewable Energy Joint Stock Company
NASDAQ-listed, international infrastructure developer Cavico’s subsidiary, Cavico Vietnam, has received an investment licence for the formation of Cavico Renewable Energy Joint Stock Company (Cavico CRE), which will initially focus on developing wind parks. Cavico CRE will receive an initial investment of $4.2m within 90 days after receiving the investment licence and the remaining $10m within three years following the initial start-up. Cavico Vietnam will own ten per cent or 2.4 million shares in Cavico CRE and Cavico Transport, a subsidiary of Cavico Vietnam, will own 20 per cent or 4.8 million, with the remaining shares offered to outside investors. Source: Company announcement
EUROPE Belgium Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: Undisclosed Investor: OCAS Ventures
Belgian early stage venture fund manager OCAS Ventures has completed the first round of funding for fellow Belgian company Borit through its investment fund Finindus. Borit supplies customised metal parts requiring accurate forming such as metallic flow plates for fuel cells, electrolysers and heat exchangers. Source: Company announcement
Belgium Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: €24m ($31.9m) Investors: Gimv, Capricorn Venture Partners
European private equity and venture capital firm Gimv and European clean technology fund Capricorn Venture Partners have invested €24m in Belgian energy efficiency company Punch Powertrain for the further development and commercialisation of its continually variable transmission drivetrains. The Gimv-XL Fund contributed €18m of the total investment to obtain a 46 per cent stake in the company, while the Capricorn Cleantech Fund put forward €6m to obtain a 15 per cent stake. Former majority shareholder LRM retained a 38 per cent share of the company. Source: Company announcement
France Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: Undisclosed Investor: Qatari Diar Fund
French environmental services company Veolia Environnement and the real estate investment arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority’s Qatari Diar Fund have signed an agreement in which Qatari Diar will acquire a five per cent stake in Veolia. Qatari Diar has indicated to Veolia Environnement that it will hold its stake and its voting rights for three years, during which the two groups will work together on infrastructure and utilities projects in the Middle East and North Africa. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
EUROPE (Continued) Germany Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: €6.6m ($8.8m) Investor: Capital-E, Emertec Gestion, Earlybird, High Tech Gründerfonds, Silicon Valley Technology Group
Munich-based electric vehicle drive-train producer Clean Mobile has raised €6.6m in follow-up financing from a consortium of venture investors including Belgium-based fund Capital-E and France’s Emertec Gestion. These new venture funds join the existing syndicate of Earlybird, High Tech Gründerfonds and Silicon Valley Technology Group. The funding will help Clean Mobile expand the commercialisation of its line of energy efficient electric drive-train products for light electric vehicles such as E-Bikes, E-Scooters and cargo vehicles. Source: Company announcement
Germany Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchaser: Kuwait Ministry of Electricity and Water
Elster, an advanced metering company based in Essen, Germany has secured a contract to deliver 170,000 smart grid-compatible water meters for use in residences, government buildings and other facilities throughout Kuwait. The Elster automatic meter reading devices will enable the Kuwait Ministry of Electricity and Water to more effectively monitor consumption, and strengthen the nation’s water management programmes. Elster’s exclusive Kuwaiti partner, Al Khatla, will deliver the meters and accessories to the Ministry. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: Undisclosed Investor: Apax Foundation
Finance in Motion
The charity of global private equity firm Apax Partners, Apax Foundation, has purchased a 20 per cent stake in German renewable energy development asset finance firm Finance in Motion through a capital increase. Focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy and SME financing, Finance in Motion is majority-owned by management and staff, and backed by private bank Sal Oppenheim as co-founder and shareholder. Source: Company announcement
Germany Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: €11.8m ($15.7m) Acquirer: Etrion
Etrion, an energy developer based in Geneva, Switzerland and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, has signed a purchase agreement to acquire a portfolio of Deutsche Bank solar assets in Italy for €10.3m plus a contingent deferred payment of €1.5m. The Deutsche Bank assets include 6MW of operating assets and 10MW of permitted projects ready for construction in the Puglia region, as well as a pipeline of more than 150MW in various stages of permitting. The operating plants benefit from an existing facility agreement with Société Générale and Dexia for up to €45m available on the basis of 90:10 debt-to-equity, of which €28m has been drawn to date. Source: Company announcement
Germany Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: €160m ($212.8m) Acquirer: WealthCap
WealthCap, a German provider of closed-end funds and a subsidiary of European financial group UniCredit, has acquired a 53MW photovoltaic solar park in Lieberose, Germany for €160m. The facility, the third largest of its kind in the world, was developed by solar developer juwi solar and has been fully operational and connected to the grid since 2009. WealthCap plans to launch a photovoltaic fund by July 2010. Source: Company announcement
Germany Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Von Roll
Swiss generation, transmission, distribution and insulation company Von Roll has acquired Germanbased wastewater treatment company BHU Umwelttechnik. BHU, which is represented by a number of projects already in Europe and Asia, said it plans to continue other projects in the US, India and the Middle East, and has just established a new Roll of Water segment serving the industrial and municipal water market. Source: Company announcement
Germany Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchaser: Al Yel Elektrik
REpower Systems concluded a contract with Al Yel Elektrik, a subsidiary of Akuo Energy, for the delivery of 44 3.37MW wind turbines for the Geycek wind farm in Kirsehir province, east of Ankara in Turkey. The contract with Al Yel Elektrik is the first time the Hamburg-based manufacturer will supply turbines to Turkey. REpower will be responsible for service and maintenance for the turbines’ first 12 years of operation. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
EUROPE (Continued) Germany Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchaser: Heritage Sustainable Energy
REpower USA, a Denver-based wholly-owned subsidiary of REpower Systems, has signed its third contract this year with US project developer Heritage Sustainable Energy. REpower USA, a subsidiary of German wind turbine manufacturer REpower Systems, will supply nine turbines for the Stoney Corners III wind farm project. The contract also provides an option for delivery of another 70 REpower MM92 turbines for additional Heritage projects in Michigan. Source: Company announcement
Germany Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchasers: EWE, Enova
Siemens Energy has been contracted by German wind company EWE and hybrid electric developer Enova to supply 30 wind turbines of 3.6MW capacity for the Riffgat wind farm scheduled to be constructed in early 2011 north-west of the Frisian island of Borkum in the North Sea. Under the terms of the contract Siemens will install, connect and commission the wind turbines, and perform maintenance for an initial period of five years. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Icelandic geothermal electricity producer Reykjavik Energy, also known as Orkuveita Reykjavikur (OR), and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) have formed an alliance to develop geothermal energy opportunities around the world. Under the agreement, MHI will now participate in OR’s initiative to explore geothermal power generation projects in Africa and other expanding markets. In addition, they will also collaborate on green energy projects within Iceland, including the production of synthetic fuel as a clean alternative fuel for transportation and the testing of infrastructure for electric vehicles. Source: Company announcement
Ireland Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: €600,000 ($797,572) Investor: The Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund, Enterprise Ireland
Ireland Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: IKM Consulting
The Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund has led a €600,000 investment in Limerick-based energy cost control technology specialist Resourcekraft. The Bank of Ireland fund commited €500,000, with the remainder funds raised through Enterprise Ireland. Resourcekraft delivers energy management software that maximises the efficiency of energy resources such as oil, gas, water and heat.
Source: Company announcement
Irish consultancy Fehily Timoney has signed a collaborative agreement with Scottish firm IKM Consulting to investigate opportunities presented by the onshore and offshore renewable energy sector. Dublin-based Fehily Timoney has carried out environmental impact assessments, submitted planning applications and conducted feasibility studies for more than 60 wind farm developments in Ireland and the UK, while IKM also has extensive environmental impact assessment and complex engineering experience. Source: Company announcement
The Netherlands Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: €7m ($9.3m) Investor: Amadeus Capital Partners, GIMV, Prime Technology Ventures, Applied Ventures
Dutch low energy management display developer Liquavista has closed a Series D funding round raising €7m from existing partners Amadeus Capital Partners, GIMV, Prime Technology Ventures and Applied Ventures. The funding is aimed at accelerating commercialisation and supporting Liquavista’s strategy to have products with Liquavista technology on the market in 2011. Based in Eindhoven, Liquavista develops electronic electrowetting screen technology that uses reduced battery power and can be incorporated into existing LCD manufacturing assets. Source: Company announcement
Norway Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: NOK86m ($14.6m) Investor: Viking Venture, Investinor, NorthZone Ventures, Hafslund Venture, Energy Capital Management
Norwegian venture company ChapDrive has secured NOK86m ($14.6m) to commercialise its hydraulic transmission technology for 5MW wind turbines. The funding has been secured through an agreement with new investors Viking Venture and Investinor, and existing shareholders NorthZone Ventures, Hafslund Venture and Energy Capital Management (Statoil Venture). The first prototype wind turbine with the 5MW ChapDrive hydraulic transmission is expected to be completed in 2012. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
EUROPE (Continued) Norway Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Beijing Enterprises Water Group
Norwegian desalination solution provider Aqualyng has sold a 50 per cent stake in its Chinese subsidiary, Aqualyng China, to Hong Kong-listed Beijing Enterprises Water Group (BEWGL) to accelerate its expansion in the country. Aqualyng China has already begun to develop a 50,000m3 per day sea water desalination plant at the Caofeidian Industrial Zone outside of Beijing. BEWGL is majority-owned by Beijing Enterprises Holdings, the commercial vehicle of the municipal government of Beijing. Source: Company announcement
Poland Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: AES Wind Generation
Wind company AES Wind Generation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NYSE-listed AES, has signed an agreement to acquire a 51 per cent stake in a wind portfolio from 3E. Together with AES Wind’s acquisition of UK wind developer Your Energy, the partial acquisition of 3E will require $400m of AES Wind’s equity over five years. AES Wind will acquire a 51 per cent stake in 422MW of 3E’s development pipeline and expects to begin construction on approximately 34MW in 2010 and 120MW in 2011. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: €10m ($13.3m) Debt Provider: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Banca Comerciala Romana
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided a €10m loan to Romanian bank Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) for on-lending to private companies seeking to improve their energy efficiency. The loan is supplementing a similar €20m credit line offered by the EBRD in 2008 to BCR, which is majority-owned by the Austrian Erste Group. Romanian businesses will be eligible for long-term loans worth up to €2.5m and an incentive payment from the EBRD of up to 15 per cent of the amount of their investment on the completion of the works. Source: Company announcement
Romania Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Petrom
SC Wind Power Park
Romanian oil and gas group Petrom has acquired 100 per cent of SC Wind Power Park, which owns a planned 45 MW wind power project in the south-east of the country. Petrom will construct and operate the wind project, which is expected to enter production in mid-2011, as part of its efforts to diversify its energy portfolio. The project will be equipped with Vestas V-90 turbines, for which contracts are already in place. Source: Company announcement
Spain Deal Type: Acquistion Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Iberdrola Renovables Sellers: Caja de Ahorros de Murcia, undisclosed local enterprises
Energias Renovables de la Region de Murcia
Global wind developer Iberdrola Renovables has acquired the remaining 50 per cent equity stake of its Spanish subsidiary Energias Renovables de la Region de Murcia (ERRM) from Spanish savings bank Caja de Ahorros de Murcia and various local enterprises. Iberdrola Renovables, which was already ERRM’s majority shareholder through its original 50 per cent stake, is now the single stakeholder of ERRM, which owns six wind farms with an installed capacity of 140MW in the Murcian region of Altiplano in Spain. Source: Company announcement
Sweden Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: SEK95m ($13.2m) Purchaser: Undisclosed Indian refinery
Sweden-based Alfa Laval, which is listed on the Nordic Exchange and which specialises in global heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling, has received an order from an Indian refinery for its energy efficient Alfa Laval Packinox heat exchanger. The total contract value is SEK95m ($13.2m), with delivery of the heat exchanger, which will be will be used in a catalytic reforming unit for the production of gasoline in the Indian refinery, scheduled for 2011. Source: Company announcement
Sweden Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: NOK254m ($35.2m) Purchaser: Statkraft
Swedish construction company Skansa has been commissioned by power major Statkraft to build two hydropower plants in western Norway. The contract, worth NOK254m ($35.2m), will be included within Skansa’s order bookings for the second quarter of 2010 and will see two power plants, with combined capacity of 340GWh, constructed in the Høyanger Municipality in Sognefjorden. The construction will begin immediately, with the project expected to be complete within three years. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
EUROPE (Continued) Switzerland Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: CHF30m ($27.8m) Purchaser: Comtec Solar Technology
Switzerland-based manufacturer Meyer Burger has won a CHF30m ($27.8m) contract to supply wire saws used in the production of solar installations from Hong-Kong listed Comtec Solar Technology. Cometec’s order comes as part of its planned expansion of production capacity to 400MW in 2010 and is Meyer Burger’s fourth major contract from an Asian solar company this year. Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: Sotbart Group
AW Jenkinson Forest Products
Green waste processor AW Jenkinson Forest Products has created a new joint venture with UK multimodal logistics company the Stobart Group. The new company, which will be named Stobart Biomass Products, will source and distribute primarily low-grade recycled fibre and waste-derived products, and has already signed a contract to supply up to 750,000 tonnes a year to ten potential sites over the next 20 years. Stobart Group took a £30m controlling share in the new company, paid for half in shares and half cash. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: £20m ($30.7m) Investors: Undisclosed high net worth individuals
Future Capital Partners
Alternative investment boutique Future Capital Partners (FCP) has secured £20m from high-net-worth individuals for its Future Fuels partnership, which intends to fund and build a renewable transport fuel plant in the north of England. The partnership aims to raise £230m for the construction of the plant, with FCP responsible for raising £40m of that total. Heads of agreement for the purchase of the plant’s first ten years of production, totalling a projected £1.5bn, have already been signed. Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: £1.45m ($2.22m) Investors: Carbon Trust Investments, Oxford Capital Partners, Add Partners, Qualcomm Ventures
UK venture capital firm Carbon Trust Investments has committed £1.45m to wireless network optimisation provider Arieso alongside existing investors Oxford Capital Partners, Add Partners and Qualcomm Ventures. Arieso, based in Newbury, will use the investment to help develop the company’s GEO product, which enables mobile network operators to identify hotspots where infill network capacity is required or where antennae positioning could be optimised to reduce power, reducing both capex and opex.
Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: £1m ($1.53m) Investors: Fair-Lead Partners, undisclosed investors
Southampton-based fuel cell technology manufacturer Bac2 has completed the first closing of an issue of ordinary shares led by London-based Fair-Lead Partners. The fundraising has secured commitments from new and existing investors to purchase ordinary shares at £110 per share, raising a total of £1m to support the growing commercialisation of Bac2’s fuel cell components business and the continuing development of new applications for its materials portfolio. The funding round will remain open for further subscriptions until May 2010. Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: £1.5m ($2.3m) Investors: Sigma Capital Group, Scottish Co-investment Fund
Energyflo Construction Technologies
AIM-listed, Edinburgh-based asset manager Sigma Capital Group has led a £1.5m investment into Energyflo Construction Technologies (ECT) through its Sigma Sustainable Energy Fund II. Sigma’s £0.75m investment into the Edinburgh-based energy efficient insulation manufacturer was matched by £0.75m from the Scottish Enterprise’s Scottish Co-investment Fund. Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: £61.2m ($93.8m) Acquirer: Amec Seller: Growth Capital Partners Advisors: Livingstone Partners, Ward Hadaway
Low- to mid-market single source equity and debt provider Growth Capital Partners (GCP) has sold environmental and engineering consultancy Entec to energy company Amec for an initial cash consideration of £61.2m. The deal, which GCP said is the second realisation from its fund II, represents a return of 33 per cent on GCP’s intial investment. Advisors to the deal included corporate finance advisor to shareholders Livingstone Partners and lawyer for the vendors, Ward Hadaway. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
EUROPE (Continued) United Kingdom Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: £1m ($1.53m) Investors: Carbon Trust Investments, Oxford Capital Partners, Albion Ventures, Success Europe
United Kingdom Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: €209m ($277m) Investors: Access Capital Partners, European Investment Bank, Euro Private Equity, Finnish State Pension Fund, Partners Group
Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: £3.5m ($5.4m) Investors: Seventure Partners, Regents Park Partners, undisclosed investors
Carbon Trust Investments has invested £1m into UK-based timber tracing technology company, Helveta, which develops software that tracks timber through its supply chain to help wipe out the global illegal timber trade. The Carbon Trust joined Oxford Capital Partners, Albion Ventures and Success Europe in the third round of funding for Oxford-based Helveta. Source: Company announcement
London-based private equity fund manager Platina Partners, specialising in renewable energy and buy-outs, has closed its European Renewable Energy Fund with total commitments of €209m. Access Capital Partners, the European Investment Bank, Euro Private Equity, the Finnish State Pension Fund and Partners Group were among the new investors in the fund. Source: Company announcement
PhosphonicS, a spin out from Queen Mary University of London that uses proprietary chemistry to make novel materials, has secured second round financing of £3.5m. The investment was led by Seventure Partners, with additional participation from existing backers Regents Park Partners, a LBS venture capital fund, and private investors. The new funding will be used to fund the global market development of PhosphonicS’s new precious metal scavenger products, which are designed to enable economic recovery of valuable metals and to eliminate waste. Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: £3.8m ($5.8m) Purchaser: The University of Sheffield
The University of Sheffield has entered into a £3.8m strategic partnership with the UK division of global energy and building management specialist Schneider Electric aimed at lowering the university’s energy consumption. The performance-based agreement is set to deliver up to £500,000 annual savings at the university, £360,000 of which is guaranteed, and releases capital for investments to cut energy consumption. Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: £400m ($613m) Debt Provider: European Investment Bank
SSE Renewables, the renewable energy arm of energy company Scottish and Southern Energy has secured a £400m loan facility from the European Investment Bank to help finance the development of renewable energy schemes in the UK. The latest agreement takes the total funding SSE Renewables has secured since July 2008 to £3.8bn, through new bonds, loans and proceeds of the placing of 42 million new ordinary shares in January 2009. Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: £35m ($53.7m) Acquirer: IDEX
NYSE-listed, Illinois-based specialised fluid and metering company IDEX has acquired Seals, a Blackburnbased provider of specialised sealing solutions for the solar and semiconductor industry, for a cash consideration of around £35m. Seals will operate within IDEX’s health and science technologies segment. Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Grant Total Amount: £5m ($7.7m) Grant Providers: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Department of Energy and Climate Change
South West Regional Development Agency
The UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Department of Energy and Climate Change will invest £5m to help the South West Regional Development Agency’s new £12.8m marine energy business park in Hayle, Cornwall. The infrastructure created by this project will complement the recent Wave Hub project, which hopes to create the world’s largest test site for marine energy devices of the coast of Cornwall. The £5 million announced by the UK government depends on a similar investment being made by Cornwall Council and additional support from the ERDF Convergence Programme. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
EUROPE (Continued) United Kingdom Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: Undisclosed Investor: Sigma Capital Group
AIM-listed, Edinburgh-based asset manager Sigma Capital Group has made a £1.5m investment into Ampair Energy, a company based in Dorset that designs and manufacturers small-scale wind turbines, through its Sigma Sustainable Energy Fund II. Ampair intends to launch a larger turbine line that will be sold alongside its small-scale, 6MW Ampair 6000 model later this year. Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: £11m ($16.9m) Acquirer: Scottish and Southern Energy
Energy supplier Scottish and Southern Energy has purchased a 15 per cent stake in Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab), a Scottish manufacturer of jacket sub-structures for the offshore wind industry, for £11m. In addition to the equity stake, SSE Renewables has secured an agreement with BiFab for the supply of at least 50 jacket substructures annually to support SSE’s offshore wind developments. BiFab has already been involved in supply jackets for the Greater Gabbard offshore wind project, developed by SSE and RWE npower renewables, in the outer Thames Estuary. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Grant Total Amount: £1.5m ($2.3m) Grant Provider: One North East
TAG Energy Solutions
UK manufacturer TAG Energy Solutions, a division of the Teesside Alliance Group, has received a £1.5m grant by UK regional development agency One North East. TAG is constructing production facilities in Billingham to manufacture the foundations that support wind turbines offshore the UK coast. TAG’s project has already received £1.5m from the Department of Energy and Climate Change to develop the innovative technology required for the high-tech manufacturing. Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Acquistion Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: AES Wind Generation
Wind company AES Wind Generation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NYSE-listed AES, has acquired UKbased wind developer Your Energy (YEL). Together with the partial acquisition of Polish wind developer 3E, the acquisition of YEL will require $400m of AES Wind’s equity over five years. YEL has a development pipeline of more than 300MW, of which AES Wind said it plans to begin construction on 48MW by the end of 2010.
Source: Company announcement
LATIN AMERICA Brazil Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: $11bn Purchaser: Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency
Companhia Hidro Eletrica do Sao Francisco
The Norte Energia consortium, led by the state-owned utility Companhia Hidro Eletrica do Sao Francisco, has won the controversial bidding process to construct the $11bn Belo Monte hydropower dam in Brazil. Construction companies Camargo Correa and Odebrecht pulled out of the auction after the government set a price cap that was lower than previous hydroprojects, leaving only two companies competing. The project has also been delayed over concerns about the displacement of indigenous people and environmental damage. Once completed, however, the dam will have a 11,000MW generating capacity, the third-largest in the world behind the Three Gorges and Itaipú. Source: Company announcement
NORTH AMERICA Canada Deal Type: Project Finance Total Amount: CAN$200m ($199.9m) Investor: Nova Scotia Power
NewPage Port Hawkesbury
Electricity generator and distributor Nova Scotia Power will invest CAN$200m in a 60MW biomass cogeneration facility being developed by mill operator NewPage Port Hawkesbury in Northern Nova Scotia. This investment includes CAN$93m in construction costs and CAN$80m to purchase assets from NewPage. NewPage will be responsible for the construction and operation of the co-generation facility, and will be completely responsible for fuel supply. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) Canada Deal Type: Project Finance Total Amount: CAN$4m ($3.97m) Investor: Ontario Innovation Demonstration Fund
Ontario-based bioenergy developer Woodland Biofuels and partners have secured a CAN$4m investment from the government of Ontario’s Innovation Demonstration Fund to help build a demonstration plant that will produce cellulosic ethanol from renewable wastes. The plant is likely to be located at the Bioindustrial Innovation Centre, in the University of Western Ontario’s Sarnia-Lambton Research Park, and will use Woodland’s patented and proprietary thermo-chemical process for the conversion of cellulosic biomass into fuel ethanol in which forest, agricultural or other common sources of biomass are gasified and processed through a series of catalytic reactions. Source: Company announcement
Canada Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: $1m Acquirer: Ellsin Environmental
Environmental Waste International
TSX Venture-listed waste disposal company Environmental Waste International has sold the final environmental permit for the TR900 prototype tyre processing plant in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, to Ellsin Environmental for $1m. Ellsin has now received all environmental permits from the Ontario Ministry of Environment required to operate the prototype and construct a building to house the processing plant. Source: Company announcement
Canada Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: CAN$330m ($327m) Debt Providers: Undisclosed investors
In order to fund its acquisition of US energy marketer Hudson Energy, Toronto-based energy marketing company Just Energy has entered into an agreement to sell CAN$330m of six per cent convertible extendible unsecured subordinated debentures through a syndicate of underwriters led by RBC Capital Markets, GMP Securities and CIBC World Markets. The debentures are convertible at CAN$18 a share, and the transaction is due to close on 7 May, with $22.5m held as security for 18 months. Source: Company announcement
Canada Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide
NASDAQ-listed energy storage and alternative fuel developer Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide has completed the acquisition of Schneider Power. With all formalities complete under the Ontario Business Corporations Act, former director and officer of Schneider Power Jonathan Lundy has been appointed to Quantum’s board of directors. The business combination merges Schneider Power’s wind and solar power generation development portfolio with Quantum’s alternative fuel and solar power technologies. Source: Company announcement
Canada Deal Type: Share Issue Total Amount: CAN$8.4m ($8.3m)
NASDAQ-listed alternative fuel developer Westport Innovations has exercised 790,614 warrants entitling the holder to one common share in the company at CAN$10.65 each, generating CAN$8.4m in cash for the company. The warrants were previously issued to Industry Canada, a department of the Canadian government, under the former Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) programme, in which Westport received $18.9m to support the development of high-performance low-emissions engines for vehicles. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $9m Investors: Middleland Capital, Blue Grass Angels, Life Science Angels, Tech Coast Angels, Pasadena Angels, Tate & Lyle Ventures
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $47.8m Investor: Temasek Holdings
San Diego-based green chemical devevloper Allylix has raised an additional $3m in its Series C financing, bringing the total funding round to $9m. New investor Middleland Capital and existing investors Blue Grass Angels, Life Science Angels, Tech Coast Angels, Pasadena Angels and Tate & Lyle Ventures contributed the additional funding, which will help Allylix commercialise its terpene-based products for the biofuel, fragrance, food, pharmaceutical and agricultural markets. Source: Company announcement
Temasek Holdings, which owns and manages the Singapore government’s direct investments locally and overseas, has invested $47.8m into California-based renewable chemcial and transport fuel company Amyris Biotechnologies. Amyris intends to use the funds for construction activities for a new commercial plant, as well as ongoing operations in the US and Brazil. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) United States Deal Type: Share Issue Total Amount: $100m
Amyris Biotechnologies has filed for a $100m initial public offering. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley will serve as co-lead underwriters to the offering. Amyris, which will trade under the symbol AMRS, has raised more than $240m in venture capital funding, and reported $64m in 2009 revenue, compared to $14m in 2008. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: US Department of Energy
Global automotive company General Motors (GM) has formed a five-year partnership with the US Department of Energy to help develop the potential of the jatropha plant as a sustainable biofuel energy crop. The partnership also aims to develop new varieties of the high-yield jatropha that can withstand frost and grow in temperate climates such as the US. Two jatropha farms will be established in India, including a 39.5 acre plot in Bhavngar and a 93.9 acre plot in Kalol, near GM’s India car manufacturing plant. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Grant Total Amount: $4m Grant Providers: US Department of Energy, US Navy Office of Naval Research
Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company
Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company will receive annual federal funding of at least $4m to work on new Hawaii-based research initiatives on biofuels. $2m in US Department of Energy annual funding will be directed to research on energy crop development and energy conversion technologies to be conducted by the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. The US Navy’s Office of Naval Research funding, also $2m annually, will support complementary crop and technology assessments and an evaluation of long-term resource requirements for biomass production. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: Undisclosed Investor: Riverstone Holdings
Riverstone Holdings most recent renewable and alternative energy fund has made an undisclosed strategic investment in Richmond, Virginia-based biomass company Intrinergy. Riverstone’s investment will enable Intrinergy to acquire and develop low-cost wood pellet operations, and other fibre processing assets, principally in the south-eastern US and Europe.
Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Grant Total Amount: $50,000 Grant Providers: Michigan Microloan Fund Program
US biofuel developer NextCAT, based in Detroit, has received a grant of up to $50,000 through the Michigan Microloan Fund Program. NextCAT will use the funding to commercialise a series of heterogenous catalysts developed by the National Biofuels Energy Lab at Wayne State University that allow producers to use less expensive raw materials in the production of biodiesel. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchaser: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
NYSE-listed energy company NRG Energy has received a ten-year contract from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for power generated by co-firing traditional fuel with renewable biomass at its Dunkirk Generating Station in western New York. Princeton, New Jersey-based NRG plans to locally source sustainably harvested biomass including forest and wood processing residues for the 15MW plant, which is expected to come online by the end of 2011. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Project Finance Total Amount: $178m Investors: US Department of Energy, 3TIER, AREVA USA, IBM, Netezza, QualityLogic, Drummond Group, undisclosed utilities
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected a team led by science and technoloy developers Battelle to conduct a regional smart grid demonstration project designed to expand upon existing electric infrastructure and test new smart grid technology in the Pacific Northwest. The total estimated cost for the 112MW Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project is $178m, of which the DOE will provide half through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project’s participant utilities and industry team members, including 3TIER Inc, AREVA USA, IBM, Netezza, QualityLogic and the Drummond Group, Inc, will provide the remaining investments for the project, which will test new combinations of devices, software and advanced analytical tools that enhance the power grid’s reliability and performance. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) United States Deal Type: Project Finance Total Amount: $394m Investor: Bank of Tianjin Joint-Stock Co
CODA Automotive/Lishen Power Battery
The joint venture between California-based electric car and battery company CODA Automotive and Chinese lithium-ion cell developer Lishen Power Battery has secured $100m in equity capital and a $294m line of credit from the Bank of Tianjin Joint-Stock Co. The capital will enable the joint venture to industrialise the all-electric CODA car’s power system for commercial volume production and support its ability to mass manufacture transportation, and utility power storage battery systems. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: $1.65bn Acquirer: Calpine Seller: Pepco Holdings Advisors: Citi, Deutsche Bank, White and Case LLP
NYSE-listed power company Calpine has agreed to purchase 4,490MW of Conectiv Energy assets from Pepco Holdings, for $1.65bn plus adjustments. The purchase of the Conectiv Energy fleet, which includes 18 operating natural gas and geothermal plants and one plant under construction, is expected to close by 30 June 2010. Calpine has received a commitment from Credit Suisse as lead arranger, along with Citi and Deutsche Bank, for a $1.3bn amortising term loan to help finance the acquisition. Citi and Deutsche Bank served as financial advisors for Calpine, and White and Case served as legal advisor. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $3.5m Investors: Rockport Capital Partners, Claremont Creek Ventures
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $15m Investors: Bank of Tianjin Joint-Stock Co
Energy management software provider EcoFactor, based in San Carlos, California, has closed a $3.5m financing found led by clean technology investor Rockport Capital Partners. Claremont Creek Ventures, which led a $2.4m Series A round in December 2009, also participated in the round. The financing will help EcoFactor execute on commercial deployments of its residential energy management service. Source: Company announcement
California-based intelligent power management technology developer Glacier Bay has closed $15m in a Series C financing round led by City Light Capital, with participation from The Westly Group and New Enterprise Associates. The proceeds will be used to fund the growth of ClimaCab, an efficient climate control system for the trucking industry and strategic new product initiatives. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $115m Investors: Friedman Fleischer & Lowe, Harvest Partners, Pine Brook Road Partners
Green Bank, a Houston-based bank focused on middle-market environmental investing, has raised $115m in private equity funding from several investors including Friedman Fleischer & Lowe, Harvest Partners and Pine Brook Road Partners. No one firm will own more than 24.9 per cent of Green Bank’s common stock through the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval. The new capital will be used to expand current operations as well as to pursue growth opportunities, including bank and branch acquisitions, structured transactions and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-assisted transactions. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $1.15m Investors: Zygote Ventures, undisclosed venture capital funds and angel investors
South Carolina-based online service provider GreenWizard has raised $1.15m in Series A funding led by Zygote Ventures, and including a syndicate of other venture capital funds and angel investors. GreenWizard’s online system allows industry professionals to cross-search, compare, and document products for LEED and green commercial construction. Zygote Ventures, based in San Rafael, California, also led an angel investment round in GreenWizard last year. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: $330m Acquirer: Just Energy
Canadian renewable energy supplier Just Energy has entered into an equity interest purchase agreement to acquire all of the issued and outstanding membership interests of Hudson Parent Holdings, and shares of the capital stock of Hudson Energy for $304.2m. The total consideration for the privately held energy marketing company will be payable through $295m in cash at closing and a post-closing deferred payment of $9.2m in four equal quarterly installments during the first year following closing. Associated transaction and financing costs will bring the total purchase cost to approximately CAN$330m. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: $786,000 Purchaser: US Navy
Viaspace’s subsidiary Ionfinity has been awarded an additional $786,000 in funding from the US Navy, under a previously awarded contract to develop a sensor with applications in environmental monitoring. The company, based in Pasadena, California, has received notice that the US Navy will provide funding for an additional 18 months of development work following the award of a competitively selected Phase II contract for 18 months in October 2008, in which Ionfinity received $492,000. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: Undisclosed Investors: Target Partners, TechOperators
Munich-based venture capital firm Target Partners has invested in energy management company JouleX, an Atlanta-based developer of software for reducing the energy usage of IT networks. Atlanta-based early stage invesotrs Tech Operators, whose partner, Thomas Noonan, serves as CEO of JouleX, also invested in the company. JouleX will use the funds to further expand development and sales of its products in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: $7m Purchaser: Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast
Massachusetts-based energy efficiency company NORESCO has partnered with Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast to implement an energy savings performance contract, including more than $7m in facility infrastructure upgrades, at the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas. On completion of the work, facilities upgraded by the project in more than 20 areas of the base are expected to consume 34 per cent less energy. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Grant Total Amount: $168.1m Grant: US Department of Energy
Pepco Holdings (PHI) has signed an agreement finalising a $168.1m grant from the US Department of Energy for the development of smart grid projects. Out of the full grant, $149.4m will go directly to PHI, with $104.8m for smart grid projects in Maryland and $44.6m for the District of Columbia. The remaining $18.7 will be allocated to subsidiary Atlantic City Electric for smart grid projects in New Jersey.
Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $7m Investors: Beringea, Khosla Ventures
Next generation lithium-ion battery developer Sakti3, based in Michigan, has completed its $7m Series B round of financing. The capital, from new investor Beringea and previous investor Khosla Ventures, will fund the expansion of its research, development and manufacturing capabilities. The investment from Beringea was made through the InvestMichigan! Growth Capital fund, a $175m economic growth initiative that provides expansion-stage capital to promising emerging businesses in Michigan. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchaser: Hawaiian Electric Company
Hawaiian Electric Company (HEC) has commissioned Siemens Energy to provide smart grid technology that will improve reliability and efficiency of the islands’ electricity distribution. HEC will finance the contract under the utility’s $5.3m share of federal smart grid stimulus funds. This agreement, which is part of the second phase of the East Oahu Transmission Project, will allow for the automation of high-load distribution circuits feeding sections of eastern Oahu. It will use a system design and operations approach to minimise construction impacts to the community, and reduce potential outage times from hours to minutes. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchaser: Guelph Hydro Electric Systems
Silver Spring Networks
Electricity distribution company Guelph Hydro Electric Systems has selected smart grid company Silver Spring Networks to provide its Smart Energy Platform for 48,000 customers in the Guelph community, in support of Ontario’s recently announced Green Energy and Economy Act. Implementation of Silver Spring’s Smart Energy Platform in 2010 will provide the foundation for enabling two-way communication between customer electricity meters and Guelph Hydro’s back-office systems. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: $1.2m Purchaser: US Department of Defense
Smart grid developer Telkonet has been selected for a $1.2m contract to install the Telkonet SmartEnergy system in more than 3,000 housing units on an East Coast US military base as part of a energy efficient retrofit project. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company’s system is designed to improve energy efficiency by adjusting and maintaining each room’s temperature based on occupancy. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: $2m Purchaser: US Department of Defense
NASDAQ-listed, New York-based energy storage company Ultralife has received orders valued at approximately $2m from the US Department of Defense for its McDowell Research brand MRC-93 Ultimate Battery Eliminators. Deliveries to the US Army and Marine Corps self-contained battery eliminator, which connects directly to a radio transceiver, are expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2010. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: $7.9m Purchaser: Orange and Rockland Utilities
Willdan Energy Solutions
California energy management company Willdan Energy Solutions (WES) has been awarded a $7.9m energy efficiency contract by electric and gas company Orange and Rockland Utilities. As the programme implementation contractor, WES will be responsible for marketing, community outreach and partnering with the community and local business organisations, as well as energy-saving facility retrofit projects in thousands of businesses throughout the Rockland, Orange and Sullivan counties in the state of New York. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Project Finance Total Amount: €173m ($229m) Investors: Société Générale, Unicredit Mediocredito Centrale, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Dexia Crediop
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $40m Investor: Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Street Partners, Angeleno Group, PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund, Vedanta Capital, New Silk Route, The Westly Group, MissionPoint Capital Partners
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $10m Investors: Undisclosed investors
AES Solar Energy
Solar energy developer AES Solar Energy announced that one of its subsidiaries closed on long-term project financing facilities of €173m to finance the construction of the Cellino San Marco project, a 43MW solar photovoltaic facility located in the Puglia region of Italy. Five banks, Société Générale, Unicredit Mediocredito Centrale, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, and Dexia Crediop, participated in the financing for AES Solar Energy, which is a joint venture between Virginia-based AES Corporation and New York private equity firm Riverstone Holdings. Source: Company announcement
Amonix, a California-based designer and manufacturer of concentrated photovoltaic solar power systems, has raised a $129.4m in Series B financing round led by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers. Other participants in the round include Adams Street Partners, Angeleno Group, PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund, Vedanta Capital, New Silk Route, The Westly Group and current investor MissionPoint Capital Partners. Amonix will use the proceeds to accelerate deployments of its concentrating photovoltaic systems and expand manufacturing capacity. Source: Company announcement
Applied Quantum Technology
Applied Quantum Technology (AQT), a Californian developer of low-cost copper-indium-galliumdiselenide thin-film solar cells, has secured $10m in venture funding. The funding, which comes from the original investor syndicate and additional undisclosed investors, will be used to build out AQT’s first manufacturing line. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchaser: Progress Energy Florida
BlueChip Energy has signed a power purchase agreement to supply Progress Energy Florida with solar photovoltaic power from the 10MW Rinehart Solar Farm, a utility-scale facility that the company is developing at its headquarters in Lake Mary, Florida. BlueChip Energy said it will build the plant using mono- and poly-crystalline solar photovoltaic modules and provide its own project development, engineering, procurement and construction capabilities. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $3m Investors: VKR Holding, GoGreen Capital, undisclosed US investors
Californian solar energy system manufacturer Chromasun has closed its first institutional funding round, raising $3m. The investment round was led by Danish investor VKR Holding, and co-investors included GoGreen Capital and two unnamed US investors. The investment will be used to fund the continued growth of the company and to introduce its MCT solar collector used for solar cooling applications to market. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $40m Investors: Bay Partners, Horizon Technology Finance, Bridge Bank, Third Point Ventures, RockPort Capital Partners, Madrone Capital Partners, Applied Ventures
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $3,525,000 Investor: The Quercus Trust
California solar microinverter systems developer Enphase Energy has secured $40m in funding, with Bay Partners leading the equity financing. Horizon Technology Finance and NASDAQ-listed Bridge Bank joined existing investors Third Point Ventures, RockPort Capital Partners, Madrone Capital Partners and Applied Ventures in the financing round. Source: Company announcement
Texas-based, OTCBB-listed solar technology developer Entech Solar has sold 150 shares of its Series G preferred stock for $1.5m in cash to southern California green technology investment fund The Quercus Trust. As part of the transaction, the company also issued a warrant to sell 11,911,765 shares of its common stock at $0.17 per share to The Quercus Trust. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $8.5m Investors: Peninsula Ventures, I2BF, Alloy Ventures, Labrador Ventures
Integrated Photovoltaics, a stealth mode developer of photovoltaic solutions, has raised $8.5m in a Series A funding round led by US venture capital firm Peninsula Ventures. Global clean technology fund management group I2BF and seed backers Alloy Ventures and Labrador Ventures also joined the round. Sam Lee from Peninsula Ventures and David Waserstein from I2BF will join Dan Rubin from Alloy Ventures on the companyâ€™s board.
Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partners: Hyundai Heavy Industries Company and LG Electronics
US renewable energy company Matinee Energy has signed an agreement forming a strategic alliance with Korean technology heavyweights Hyundai Heavy Industries Company and LG Electronics, to serve as lead partners for $1bn of solar plant construction contracts totalling 240MW. Matinee is targeting utility scale solar energy plants primarily in the south-west US and has already secured partnerships with JP Morgan Securities for project financing and The Industrial Company for construction services. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: Con Edison Development
Panda Solar Ventures
Dallas-based solar company Panda Solar Ventures, an affiliate of Panda Energy International, and Con Edison Development, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NYSE-listed utility Consolidated Edison, have signed an agreement to develop utility-scale solar electric power projects in the northeast US. Under the agreement, each company will be equal partners to the joint venture. Panda will assume primary responsibility for development, engineering and construction, and Con Edison will assume primary responsibility for operation, maintenance and financing of the solar facilities. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: Silfab
US solar developer REgeneration Finance has entered into a joint venture with Italian vertically integrated photovoltaic company Silfab. The transaction involves both a capital investment from Silfab into a REgeneration affiliate and a collaboration agreement between REgeneration, and Silfabâ€™s US subsidiary. REgeneration Finance will use the funds from the investment to expand its programme of financing and structuring commercial and utility scale solar energy projects, with an initial focus on structuring and providing construction, debt and related equity financing to large-scale distributive generation projects throughout the US. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchaser: GCL Solar
NASDAQ-listed renewable energy company Satcon Technology has received a 150MW order of its 500KW solar photovoltaic inverters from GCL Solar, one of China’s largest utility solar power plant developers and suppliers. Under the agreement, the Boston-based company will begin supplying the inverters immediately, with all deliveries scheduled for completion in October of 2010. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Pacific Blue Energy
Pacific Blue Energy, an OTCBB-listed developer of renewable energy headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, has acquired all the membership interests in Ship Ahoy, an Arizona company that owns approximately 154.3 acres of land primed for a solar plant located 30 miles east of Flagstaff, Arizona. To gain all the membership interests of Ship Ahoy, Pacific Blue said it will tender consideration including $300,000 and the issuance of one million restricted shares. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Share Issue Total Amount: Undisclosed
The US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has approved a common stock forward split for US solar nanotechnology developer Shrink Nanotechnologies of five for one. The forward split will be payable on surrender of existing common stock to the company’s transfer agent Action Stock Transfer, following which the OTCBB-listed company will have approximately 191,303,985 issued and outstanding common shares. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Project Finance Total Amount: $3m Investor: ATEL Ventures
San Francisco-based ATEL Ventures, a provider of secured financing to emerging growth companies, has committed $3m in equipment financing to SolFocus, a California developer of concentrator photovoltaic systems. SolFocus – whose concentrated solar technology employs a system of patented reflective optics to concentrate sunlight onto small, efficient solar cells – will use the financing for high-volume manufacturing. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: Boeing
Stirling Energy Systems
Arizona-based Stirling Energy Systems (SES) has signed a partnership with Boeing to complete the commercialisation of the aerospace giant’s XR700 high-concentration photovoltaic solar power technology. Under the licensing agreement, SES has acquired the rights to develop, manufacture and deploy the high-concentration technology. Ireland-based international renewable energy group NTR has a controlling stake in SES, and Tessera Solar – another company owned by NTR – will be responsible for the development, construction and operation of the solar power facilities using the technology. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Grant Total Amount: $141m Debt Provider: US Department of Energy
Georgia silicon solar cell and module manufacturer Suniva has been selected for the US Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee programme. On the completion of the DOE’s due diligence and subject to the successful negotiation of the terms of a loan for approximately $141m, Suniva plans to start the construction of a new manufacturing plant in Saginaw County, Michigan. The loan guarantee is expected to enable Suniva to more than triple their exports over the next five years. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: $650m Debt Providers: Undisclosed investors
NASDAQ-listed Silicon Valley-based solar system provider SunPower has closed both the offering of $220m prinicpal amount of its senior cash convertible debentures due in 2015 as well as the sale of an additional $30m in debentures to cover overallotments. As per US securities regulations, the debentures, which pay 4.5 per cent interest semi-annually, were only offered via private placement to qualified instiutional investors. SunPower has also signed a new three-year letter of credit facility with an initial maximum issuance of $350m. The new credit facility, which may be increased to a maximum of $400m, will be underwritten by a syndicate of banks including Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse and Barclays Capital. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) United States Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Watts Water Technologies
Blue Ridge Atlantic Enterprises
NYSE-listed, Massachusetts-based water efficiency company Watts Water Technologies has completed the acquisition of North Carolina engineered rain water harvesting technology company Blue Ridge Atlantic Enterprises (BRAE) in a share purchase transaction. BRAE’s rain water harvesting systems, which aid the conservation of water in both commercial and residential settings, can contribute up to 30 per cent of LEED points available for green buildings. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: $80.1m Acquirer: Fort Chicago Energy Partners Advisor: Barclays Capital
Energy Investors Funds
Energy Investors Funds (EIF) said its United States Power Fund (USPF) and USPF II have completed the sale of the Glen Park Hydroelectric Project to Fort Chicago Energy Partners for $80.1m. EIF, a San Francisco private equity manager, acquired the project – a 33MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric generation facility operating since 1986 on the Black River near Watertown, New York – for an undisclosed sum. Barclays Capital served as EIF’s exclusive financial advisor in connection with the transaction. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Middlesex Water
Montague Water and Sewer Companies
NASDAQ-listed Middlesex Water, a water and wastewater service provider based in New Jersey, has agreed to purchase Montague Water and Sewer Companies, which together serve over 2,000 people in the Montague Township area of north-west New Jersey. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Grant Total Amount: $1.5m Debt Provider: US Department of Energy
Ocean Power Technologies
Wave energy technology developer Ocean Power Technologies has received a $1.5m award from the US Department of Energy for the development of its next generation PowerBuoy system. The grant will be used to help the New Jersey-based company fund the scale-up of the output of the PowerBuoy, which captures and converts predictable wave energy into electricity, to 500KW from the current level of 150KW.
Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: $20m Purchaser: Ghodawat Energy
American Superconductor Corporation
NASDAQ-listed global power technologies company American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) has received an initial order for full wind turbine electrical control systems worth more than $20m from Indiabased Ghodawat Energy. Under the terms of the contract, AMSC will begin shipping the electrical control systems to Ghodawat in mid-2010 and will complete all shipments by the end of calendar 2013 at the latest. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchaser: Vestas Australian Wind Technology
American Superconductor Corporation
Vestas Australian Wind Technology, the wholly-owned subsidiary of global wind giant Vestas, has placed an order with American Superconductor Corporation for a large grid interconnection system. The system, AMSC’s largest order to date, will connect the energy produced by the Collgar Wind Farm, developed jointly by Investec Bank and Windlab Systems, to the grid in Western Australia. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Constellation Energy
NYSE-listed wind power company Constellation Energy has closed an agreement to acquire the 70MW Criterion wind project in Garrett County, Maryland from Clipper Windpower and to purchase 28 Clipper Liberty 2.5MW wind turbines for the development. Constellation Energy, based in Baltimore, Maryland, anticipates that commercial operation of the wind facility, which Constellation will develop, construct, own and operate, will begin by 2011. Source: Company announcement
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
ENVIROTECH & CLEAN ENERGY
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) United States Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Xcel Energy
California-based enXco, an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company, has closed a wind project purchase and sale agreement (WPPSA) with Xcel Energy for the Nobles Wind Project, a 201MW facility to be constructed in south-west Minnesota. The closure of the WPPSA transfers the ownership of the project, which is is expected to be operational by the end of 2010, to Northern States Power, an Xcel Energy operating company. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $2.5m Investors: Undisclosed investors
US offshore wind developer Fishermen’s Energy has closed a venture funding round at $2.5m. The New Jersey-based company is a community-based consortium formed by East Coast fishing companies in 2007, and is currently developing a 350MW wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City. Source: News reports
Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchaser: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Horizon Wind Energy
Horizon Wind Energy, a Houston-based clean power company owned by Portugal’s EDP Renovaveis, has secured a contract from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to sell 171MW of renewable energy credits for ten years from its Marble River Wind Farm currently in development in Clinton County, New York. The contract award from NYSERDA, in conjunction with the Public Service Commission, is the fifth competitive solicitation of its kind and will be funded through the New York Renewable Portfolio Standard. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Purchasers: E.ON, Cape Wind, Renewable Energy Systems Canada
Siemens Energy has received orders to provide more than 767MW of wind turbines to North American developers. Boston wind developer Cape Wind has ordered 130 of Siemens’ 3.6MW turbines for a planned offshore wind farm in the Nantucket Sound. Energy giant E.ON has placed an order for 87 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 2.3MW, for the Papalote Creek II wind power plant in San Patricio County, Texas. Renewable Energy Systems Canada has ordered a 43-strong task force of the 2.3MW wind turbines from Siemens for the Greenwich wind energy project near Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada. Source: Company announcement
OCEANIA Australia Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Pacific Road Capital Management Seller: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Australian private equity fund manager Pacific Road Capital Management has agreed to acquire ten per cent of coal gasification company Carbon Energy from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in an off-market trade. Following the transaction, Carbon Energy’s major shareholders will be Incitec Pivot holding 11.3 per cent, Pacific Road Resources Fund with a ten per cent stake and CSIRO with a 4.8 per cent share. Source: Company announcement
Australia Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: €71.3m ($94.8m) Acquirer: Platina Partners
Australian wind farm operator Infigen Energy has sold its French assets to European Renewable Energy Fund, the recently closed specialist fund managed by London-based private equity firm Platina Partners, for €71.3m. The net proceeds of the sale of 52MW of turbines was about €10m, after debt repayment and transaction-related costs, and will be used to further strengthen the company’s capacity. Source: Company announcement
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Published on Dec 1, 2010
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