GridPoint Raises $23 Million in Venture Capital

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Investment, Smart Grid on August 2nd, 2012 by News Desk –

Arlington, Va. – GridPoint, a provider of software, hardware and services for consumers and producers of energy, has raised $23 million in a round of venture capital, according to a new filing by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Founded in 2003, GridPoint recently released a “cloud-based” platform that provides visibility into and analysis of energy information, enabling control of critical energy endpoints, ranging from HVAC, boiler, chiller and lighting systems to solar, electric vehicle and home energy management solutions.

The company’s system for enterprises combines alarms, reports and control capabilities that gives users the ability to establish business rules and identify and prioritize energy management issues and operate critical energy endpoints at optimal efficiency levels.

For utilities, GridPoint offers a suite of smart grid applications designed to assist program managers meet efficiency and renewable integration requirements, add customer value and reduce grid strain.

Its system for residential users gives customers control over their consumption and production by providing them tools to increase their energy efficiency, verifying and driving load reduction, and integrating solar and electric technologies.

Investors in GridPoint include ltira Group, Craton Equity Partners, Goldman Sachs Group, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Perella Weinberg Partners, The Quercus Trust, Robeco, and The Susquehanna International Group of Companies.

The company is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with offices in Austin, Texas; Ottawa, Ontario; Roanoke, Virginia; and Seattle, Washington.

Image credit: GridPoint

GridPoint website

Accio Energy Raises $1.3 Million in Venture Capital

Posted in Smart Grid on August 2nd, 2012 by News Desk –

Ann Arbor, Mich. — Accio Energy, an early-stage developer of wind energy systems scalable, reliable, has raised about $1.3 million in a round of venture capital, according to a new filing by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Accio’s systems directly convert wind energy to electricity without any moving parts. The company’s technology does not rely on electromagnetic effects to produce electricity from the wind’s kinetic energy, just as photovoltaic cells exploit photoelectric effects rather than electromagnetic principles.

The company’s technology harvests energy by using the wind to move electrically charged particles against a voltage gradient. The electricity generated is fed directly to the grid or stored locally to provide energy on demand.

Accio’s development work is supported with funding from the US National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and Michigan Public Service Commission.

Investors in Accio include Resonant Venture Partners, First Step Fund in
Detroit, Automation Alley, and the University of Michigan’s Frankel Commercialization Fund.

Biofuels Maker Coskata Raises $8.9M in Convertible Debt

Posted in Biofuels, Investment on August 2nd, 2012 by News Desk –

Warrenville, Ill. – Coskata, a Warrenville-based developer of technology for the production of advanced biofuels and biochemicals from biomass and waste materials, has raised $8.9 million in convertible debt, according to a new filing by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Founded in 2006, Coskata makes fuel from sources like municipal solid waste (trash), agricultural and forest residuals, bagasse and many other carbon-containing input materials. Its process uses microorganisms that eliminate the need for enzymatic pretreatments, and the bio-fermentation occurs at low pressures and temperatures.

The company says its process has the potential to yield over 100 gallons of ethanol per ton of dry carbonaceous input material, and has the potential to dramatically improve the separations and recovery component of ethanol production.

Coskata has been operating a demonstration biorefinery in Madison, Penn. since 2009. It also received a conditional commitment for a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to build a commercial-scale facility for the production of fuel-grade, cellulosic ethanol in the Southeast U.S.

Last December, the company filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of stock.

Major investors in Coskata include The Blackstone Group, Khosla Ventures, Total Energy Ventures, ATV, Globespan Capital Partners, General Motors, Arancia, and Sumitomo.

Image credit: Coskata

Coskata website

Siluria Technologies Raises $30 Million in Third Round

Posted in Biofuels, Investment on July 26th, 2012 by News Desk –

San Francisco – Siluria Technologies, a developer of methane-based fuels, chemicals and plastics, announced it has raised $30 million in its third round of venture capital, which was led by Bright Capital and Vulcan Capital led the round.

Founded in 2008, based on technology licensed from MIT, Siluria has integrated nanotechnology, biotechnology, and chemical engineering to create a methane activation process that reduces cost and removes carbon from the industrial supply chain.

Siluria’s process enables direct conversion of methane into fuels and chemicals, using the same infrastructure and creating the same fuels and chemicals used by industry today, according to the company.

The company said the new financing will help fund the construction of a commercial demonstration plant and support the commercialization of its technology.

All of Siluria’s existing investors participated in its latest funding round, including ARCH Venture Partners, The Wellcome Trust, Alloy Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Lux Capital, Altitude Life Science Ventures and Presidio Ventures.

To date, Siluria has raised $63.3 million.

Image credit: Siluria Technologies

Siluria Technologies website

SwRI Team Awarded $8.5 Million from DOE to Develop Concentrating Solar Tech

Posted in DOE, R&D, Solar Power on July 26th, 2012 by News Desk –

San Antonio, Texas — Southwest Research Institute and industry collaborators General Electric, Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation and Thar Energy announced they have been awarded an $8.5 million contract by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a high-efficiency supercritical CO2 hot gas turbo-expander for concentrating solar power (CSP) plants.

The award was given through DOE’s SunShot Initiative, a program intended to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy.

Because of the highly cyclical nature of concentrating solar power plant operations, a supercritical CO2 (sCO2) hot gas turbo-expander must be able to operate at high temperatures and pressures over a wide range of load conditions while maintaining a high efficiency, handle rapid transient heat input swings and have very fast start-up capabilities to optimize the plant’s online availability, according to SwRI.

A second objective of the project is to develop new printed circuit heat exchangers for sCO2 applications to drastically reduce their manufacturing costs. The scalable sCO2 expander design and improved heat exchanger will address two critical technology gaps required for an optimized CSP sCO2 power plant and provide a pathway to achieving CSP power at $0.06 per kilowatt hour, and reducing total power block cost to below $1,200 per kilowatt installed, SwRI said.

SwRI is an independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organization based in San Antonio, with around 3,000 employees and an annual research budget of approximately $581 million. Southwest Research Institute and SwRI are registered marks in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Image credit: SwRI

Southwest Research Institute website