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cleantech insights

Water: Week in Review

artipatel

Firms continue to rely on acquisitions to expand into new markets, as seen with Filterboxx, ACWA Power International, and various Korean firms bidding for OHL’s water and environmental subsidiary Inima.  For details on these transactions, and other news related to water, continue reading below:

M&A/ Partnerships

  • Korean construction firms GS and POSCO, along with Brazil’s Odebrecht and Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa have been
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San Diego, drink it in…

artipatel

…it always goes down smooth (according to Ron Burgundy).  Wonder if he was talking about the water? San Diego has recently been making big headlines in the water world, as it works to diversify its water supply.  Not only does the city boast a new wastewater treatment plant (currently in testing phases) that purifies 1 million gallons of recycled water a day, but the city has also been involved in a desalination plant expected to boost water supply by 10%.  In addition, Southern California has a spattering of innovative companies dedicated to improving the water and wastewater world, making San Diego one smooth city.

The advanced water purification facility, which has been under construction since early 2011, recently opened its doors to the public.  To help residents and other naysayers get over the psychological hurdle of drinking treated sewage water, the facility offers tours where visitors can get an up-close look at the water treatment process, which includes microfiltration/ ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, and advanced oxidation with ultraviolet disinfection and hydrogen peroxide.  At the end of the tour, visitors “have a chance to compare [the purified water] to drinking water and recycled water samples.”  Other states have followed suit – earlier …

Weekly Investment Highlights

Hans Chen

Each week our research team tracks cleantech transactions across the globe. This week we recorded 15 VC/PE deals, four fund announcements, eight M&As, four transactions of other types and one IPO-related story. Below are some of the highlights.

Venture capital and private equity investments

Over $235 million of venture/private equity fund was raised by 15 cleantech companies, the two largest deals were:

  • Oregon-based ClearEdge Power, a manufacturer of silicon-based stationary fuel cells, raised a Series E round of funding of $73.5 million from Artis Capital Management, Güssing Renewable Energy, Sempra Energy’s Southern California Gas Company and Kohlberg Ventures.
  • Utah-based Fusion-io, a developer of green technology for servers and workstations, raised $61.5 million in a planned $88-million financing round, according to a regulatory filing. This brings the total capital raised by the company to over $170 million.

Funds

Four fund managers made important announcements. Highlights are:

  • Brazilian infrastructure investor Pátria Investimentos has closed its P2 Brasil Private Infrastructure Fund II on $1.155 billion, exceeding its $1 billion target. Primary focus areas for the fund include transportation and logistics, oil and gas infrastructure, and water and waste management.
  • SK Capital Partners, a New York-based investment firm, has closed its first institutional fund, SK

Storage: Week in Review

Alon Gavrielov

Electrovaya, based out of Canada, announced a couple of projects and partnerships this week involving its lithium-ion clean battery technology.  That and a bit more below:

M&A/ Partnerships/Investments:

Bosch, joined by BASF and ThyssenKrupp System Engineering is planning to build a pilot production line for lithium-ion batteries in Germany.
http://energystorage.cleantechnology-business-review.com/news/bosch-to-build-pilot-production-line-for-lithium-ion-batteries-in-germany-240811

Electrovaya has signed an agreement with Manitoba Hydro and the University of Manitoba to develop and test a battery system that uses old lithium ion batteries from electric cars for renewable energy sources.
http://www.winnipegsun.com/2011/08/24/hydro-plugging-in-old-batteries-for-solar-storage

 

Projects/Other:

Electrovaya has signed a contract to provide a lithium ion battery energy storage system of approximately 1.2MWh for demonstration purposes as part of a project involving several partners (and supported by the Canadian government) investigating storage applications for renewable energy generation.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/electrovaya-to-provide-12mwh-lithium-ion-battery-energy-storage-system-bess-2011-08-17-71400?reflink=MW_news_stmp

NEC is testing out a home storage system within a recently built “Smart House” at the Institute of Industrial Science of Tokyo University.
http://cleantechnica.com/2011/08/19/experimental-smart-house-completed-in-tokyo-university/

Water: Week in Review

artipatel

Following suit with Texas, California is in the process of finalizing its own legislation that will require companies to disclose a complete list of the chemicals used in fracturing operations.  Fracking continues to make headlines, and HTI doesn’t want to be left behind – a joint R&D project that the company is involved in just raised $1.3 million of funding to research the role of forward osmosis in the treatment and reuse of produced water.  Continue reading for more on these and other events in the water world:

M&A/ Partnerships

Projects

  • Clean Water Services in Oregon will install the first Ostara Pearl® 2000 system (from Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies) at the Rock Creek Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility in Hillsboro, OR.  The facility will install two reactors, with each reactor rated at 2,000 kg/day of production, and will have the capacity to produce 1,200 tons of fertilizer

Seven ways the US military is embracing cleantech

Whitney Michael

Great piece today from Earth2Tech on seven ways the US military is “investing and proselytizing the value of clean power, biofuels and energy efficiency products and services for job creation, energy security and (insert your favorite cliché here).”

It makes sense.  According to this post, the Defense Department accounts for 80% of the energy used by the federal government.  As huge employers, users of fuel and energy, and stakeholders in cutting-edge technologies, the armed forces have a lot to gain (and save) by conserving energy and reducing fuel consumption.

We’ve just confirmed Tom Hicks, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Navy, Energy, to headline a panel on the Government’s Role in Cleantech at the Global Cleantech 100 Summit in October.

He’ll speak to the Navy’s biofuel, energy storage and renewable energy initiatives.  Tom will be joined on the panel by Keith Curtis, Senior Energy Advisor from the US Department of Commerce.

We’re going to announce the 2011 Global Cleantech 100 list at this event and bring together cleantech’s thought leaders to discuss the companies and market forces that will drive the global clean economy forward.  Seats are still available and early registration discounts are in place through September 16.  …

Weekly Investment Highlights

Hans Chen

Each week our research team tracks cleantech transactions across the globe. This week we recorded 15 VC/PE deals, four fund announcements, five M&As, three transactions of other types and three IPO-related stories. Below are some of the highlights.

Venture capital and private equity investments

Over $138 million of venture/private equity fund was raised by 15 cleantech companies, the two largest deals were:

  • California-based Coda Automotive, a developer of an all-electric sedan as well as lithium-ion battery systems built for automotive and power storage utility applications, received an additional $30-million Series D investment.
  • California-based Solexant, a developer of high efficiency, low cost nano-structured solar cells, raised a $23.4 million Series D round by DBL Investors, Shasta Ventures and Trident Capital.

Funds

Four fund managers made important announcements. Highlights are:

  • US government-owned financial entity Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC) announced the plan to invest up to $820 million in the Indian renewable energy sector, in terms of project finance and private equity, by the end of 2011.
  • Founder and former CEO of First Solar Michael Ahearn formed a $300 million venture capital company, True North Venture Partners, to back early-stage energy, water, agriculture and waste treatment companies.

Mergers and acquisitions

Five cleantech M&A …

Storage: Week in Review

Alon Gavrielov

A few interesting energy storage projects in the news: Beacon Power has received a grant from the state of Pennsylvania for a flywheel projects while ZBB has signed a contract to supply their storage system to the US Navy.  More below:

M&A/ Partnerships/Investments:

China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) has signed an agreement with the Bolivia government to explore lithium reserves in the country.
http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page72068?oid=133596&sn=Detail&pid=102055

Nexeon secured Series C fundraising to scale up production of its silicon-anode technology for lithium-ion batteries.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2011/08/03/silicon-anode-start-up-nexeon-secures-66m-scaling-up-production/

 

Projects/Other:

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. (Altairnano) has signed a contract with the Hawai’i Natural Energy Institute to supply an energy storage system for a test of solar energy integration
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/altairnano-selected-by-hawaii-natural-energy-institute-for-solar-energy-integration-demonstration-project-2011-08-16?reflink=MW_news_stmp

ZBB received a US Navy contract to supply a 500 KW zinc-bromide energy storage system to naval facility in California.
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2011/08/12/zbb-lands-us-navy-energy-storage.html

Beacon Power awarded $5 million grant by state of Pennsylvania for construction of a 20MW flywheel storage facility.
http://cleantechnica.com/2011/08/11/pennsylvania-beacon-power-flywheel-energy-storage/

Green housing pilot project in Singapore to utilize Panasonic lithium-ion batteries for storage.
http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2011/08/11/panasonic-run-asias-first-green-home-energy-project

Water: Week in Review

artipatel

As Texas gears up for its first ever sewage-to-drinking-water plant estimated to cost $13 million, San Francisco awards a $150 million contract to an AECOM/Parsons joint venture to improve existing wastewater initiatives.  To top it off, Windjammer Capital acquires JWC Environmental, a global wastewater treatment equipment provider, giving the wastewater industry a lot to think about this week.  For these stories and more, see our news highlights below:

M&A/ Partnerships

Projects

  • A $150-million wastewater improvement program-management contract has been awarded to an AECOM/Parsons joint venture by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC).  The

Wind Turbines – What’s Under the Hood?

Christopher Reid

From the outside, most wind turbines look similar – three blades at the top of tall tapered towers, painted light grey – but exciting developments are taking place hidden from sight, inside the nacelle. This is where the next wave of innovation in wind is happening.

Wind turbines face two notable engineering challenges: variable-speed operation and gearbox failure. In early wind turbines, the grid-connected generator required the blades to spin at a fixed speed, corresponding to the power line frequency. In high-wind conditions, the turbine would suffer high mechanical loads and perform inefficiently. Modern wind turbines have a variable-speed rotor that allows the turbine to capture a greater fraction of the wind energy, but require costly power electronics to perform the conversion process.

Gearbox failure is a problem encountered by both fixed- and variable-speed turbines. Often cited as the least reliable component of wind turbines, the gearbox converts the rotor’s 15-20 rpm speed to the 2000 rpm required by the generator. The industry expects today’s gearboxes to last 7-11 years, which means they may have to be replaced several times in the 20-year lifetime of a wind turbine. In 2009, gearboxes in all 30 turbines forming the Kentish Flats offshore …