Monday, March 21, 2011

Pythagoras Solar announces pilot installation at Willis Tower

Pythagoras Solar, an Israel-based, venture-backed company developing transparent, energy efficient windows that also generate solar power, announced that it has been chosen by Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower, the tallest building the Western Hemisphere, to collaborate on a pilot project to help deliver on the building's renewable energy and energy efficiency improvement goals.

The pilot project, deployed in November 2010 on the south facing windows of the Willis Tower's 56th floor, uses Pythagoras Solar's building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solution that has the potential to expand to a surface area allowing over two megawatts of solar power generation.

"We are excited to launch this pilot with Pythagoras Solar's leading-edge solar window solutions as a test for not only the energy savings that can be achieved, but the potential they represent to actually generate power through the sun," said John Huston, Executive Vice President of American Landmark Properties, one of the ownership partners of Willis Tower.

"We are incredibly proud to be considered to contribute our part for the 'greening' of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the iconic Willis Tower," said Gonen Fink, Co-founder and CEO Pythagoras Solar. "It is inspiring to see a team not waver in its dedication to making a true and lasting change through smart investments in the right solutions. With its combined benefits, our technology is set to provide Willis Tower with a valuable tool that will help move it toward its energy efficiency goals."

According to Pythagoras Solar, it is the first company to offer a fully integrated photovoltaic glass unit (PVGU) that addresses the need for simultaneous benefits of energy efficiency and high power density, while also offering architectural design benefits to increase real estate value and advance Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZB).

Pythagoras Solar is a privately held company with operations in the United States, Israel and China. Pythagoras Solar was the first company to be incubated by Precede Technologies, and the Pythagoras Solar raised a $10 million Series A financing in 2008 led by Israel Cleantech Ventures and joined by Pitango Venture Capital and Evergreen Venture Partners.

Related Posts:

Pythagoras Solar raises $10 million from Israel Cleantech Ventures, Pitango and Evergreen

Thursday, May 20, 2010

BrightSource Energy raises $150 Million Series D financing

BrightSource Energy, Inc., developer of utility-scale solar thermal power plants, has raised an additional $150 million in its most recent equity financing. The Series D round brings BrightSource’s total equity financing to more than $300 million and positions the company for significant growth.

New investors including Alstom and the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) joined existing investors in this round, led by VantagePoint Venture Partners, Morgan Stanley and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

The additional financing will be used to support BrightSource's 2,610 megawatts in contracts with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Southern California Edison to build 14 solar power plants in the US southwest by 2016. The funds will also be used by BrightSource to further its international expansion plans.

“A Series D capital raise of this magnitude reflects the market’s confidence in our world-class team and the important role of our Luz Power Tower technology in meeting the growing global demand for cost-effective and reliable solar power,” said John Woolard, Chief Executive Officer of BrightSource. “By adding new strategic investors to our current blue chip investor base, we strengthen our ability to make solar thermal energy a significant part of the world’s energy mix.”

As part of the financing, global power-generation leader Alstom has committed to invest up to $55 million. This investment in BrightSource represents Alstom’s entry into the solar market and underscores BrightSource’s leading position in this industry.

Philippe Joubert, Alstom Power President, said, “BrightSource Energy’s market-leading solar-tower thermal-power technology complements Alstom’s strong portfolio of renewable energy solutions, building on our strength in hydro, geothermal, wind, tidal power, biomass and waste-to-energy solutions. Following this investment, both companies intend to enter into an industrial relationship, which will enhance BrightSource’s leading position in this industry.”

In February 2010, BrightSource received a conditional commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy for $1.37 billion in loan guarantees to support the financing of BrightSource’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System project – the first of its US-based power projects. Once constructed, Ivanpah will be the world’s largest solar energy project, nearly doubling the amount of solar thermal electricity produced in the US today. The project will also create more than 1,000 local jobs at the peak of construction and generate $250 million in construction wages. The power plant will be constructed by Bechtel, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the Ivanpah project. BrightSource expects to commence construction later this year.

“The BrightSource team continues to execute at the highest levels and set the bar for the utility-scale solar industry,” said Alan Salzman, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of VantagePoint Venture Partners. “With BrightSource’s proven ability to hit commercial and technological milestones, we see no limit to the company’s potential in transforming global power markets.”

BrightSource is the parent of Jerusalem, Israel-based BrightSource Industries Israel (BSII), formerly called Luz II. BSII performs R&D, production and project engineering for its California-based parent company.

In June 2008, BrightSource launched the Negev Solar Energy Development Center, a demonstration plant producing the world’s highest temperature steam from solar, at the Rotem Industrial Park near Dimona, Israel.

Related Posts:

BrightSource / Luz II dedicate Negev Solar Energy Development Center

BrightSource Energy expands Nevada solar thermal project to 960 MW

BrightSource Energy signs contract with Siemens for solar-powered generator

BrightSource Energy signs 1.3 GW solar thermal deal with SCE

BrightSource Energy planning 1200 MW solar power facility in Nevada

Arnold Goldman, Chairman of BrightSource Energy

BrightSource Energy raises $115 million in latest round of funding

BrightSource Energy signs large solar deal with PG&E

Monday, May 10, 2010

Emefcy raises $5m Series A financing

Emefcy, a microbial fuel cell startup based in Caesarea, Israel, has raised $5 million at a company value of more than $10 million, post-money.

UK investment fund Pond Venture Partners led the round, joined by current Emefcy investors Israel Cleantech Ventures Funds and Plan B Ventures, according to Globes and IVC Online.

Emefcy, co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Eytan Levy and Ronen Shechter, is developing the MEGAWATTER™ technology. This technology produces low cost electricity (at $0.10/kWhr) and hydrogen in a bio-electro-chemical process from wastewater treatment by leveraging Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) technology.

Levy and Shechter previously founded wastewater treatment company AqWise. In February 2009, this blog detailed Emefcy's efforts to raise a $3.5-$5.0 million Series A financing. That same month, Levy presented at a public event at MIT organized by the Boston Israel Cleantech Alliance. Plan B Ventures is based in Boston and its principal, Barbara Goldman, is a member of the Boston Israel Cleantech Alliance.

Levy told Globes, "The capital raised will help us set up a commercial pilot. We've already established laboratory pilots on increasingly larger scales. Progress to a commercial pilot is based on the successful results of the laboratory pilots."

Emefcy's Scientific Advisory Board includes Prof. Bruce Logan of Pennsylvania State University, Prof. Derek Lovely of the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and Prof. Bruce Rittmann, Director of the Biodesign Institute at the University of Arizona.

Related Posts:

Emefcy signs collaboration agreements, raising Series A funds

Israel Cleantech buys 11% of AqWise

AqWise founders start new cleantech venture

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

EnStorage raises $15M Series B financing led by Warburg Pincus

Israeli fuel cell start-up EnStorage Ltd. has raised $15 million in a Series B financing round.

U.S. private equity fund Warburg Pincus led the round, and was joined by all of EnStorage's current investors, including Greylock Partners, Canaan Partners, Siemens TTB, and Wellington Partners, according to a report in "Globes".

EnStorage was founded in 2007 by VP R&D Dr. Arnon Blum, Chief Scientific Officer Prof. Emanuel Peled of Tel Aviv University, Chairman Nachman Shelef, and former CEO Eran Yarkoni.

EnStorage is developing and commercializing energy storage systems, based on technology developed for over by Prof. Emanuel Peled and his team at Tel Aviv University. The technology is licensed from Ramot, the technology transfer company of Tel Aviv University.

According to the EnStorage web site, James Levy, a Principal at Warburg Pincus, has joined the EnStorage Board of Directors.

EnStorage raised a $2 million Series A financing in January 2008.

Eran Yarkoni was the featured speaker at the first CleanIsrael Meetup in March 2008. Congratulations to the EnStorage team for the Series B financing!

Related Posts:

EnStorage raises $2m from Greylock, Canaan and Siemens Venture Capital

Highlights from first CleanIsrael meetup event

Monday, February 22, 2010

GreenRoad raises $10M from Al Gore's Generation Investment Management

GreenRoad, which is developing technologies to encourage safe and fuel-efficient driving behavior, announced today that it has raised $10 million in financing from Generation Investment Management, the investment firm co-founded in 2004 by Al Gore.

GreenRoad will use the proceeds of this financing to accelerate the deployment of its GreenRoad 360 service among existing and new customers.

GreenRoad 360, the Company's proprietary technology-based service, provides drivers and fleet managers with real-time, comprehensive and preventative feedback, analysis, reporting and coaching on drivers’ abilities, maneuvers and patterns.

According to GreenRoad, driving behavior is the largest single contributor to driving safety and fuel efficiency and costs the US and Europe over $500 billion dollars per year. A typical GreenRoad customer sees up to a 50% reduction in crash costs and up to a 10% reduction in fuel consumption within the first year. As a result, GreenRoad delivers an innovative solution that saves lives, saves fleets money in top vehicle expense categories (fuel, crash, wear & tear, insurance) and provides a cost-effective way to reduce emissions.

“We are very excited to welcome Generation, whose investment philosophy and leadership in sustainability is a perfect fit with GreenRoad,” said Dan Steere, CEO of GreenRoad. “At GreenRoad, our job is to make our roads safer and greener and we look forward to working with Generation in leading the way to cleaner, safer and more cost-efficient transportation.”

GreenRoad is headquartered in Redwood Shores, California, with sales offices throughout the U.S. and UK and an R&D Center in Or Yehuda, Israel, which has 90 employees. The company was founded in 2003 by Chief of Safety Hod Fleishman and CTO Ofer Raz.

GreenRoad has raised $48 million to date, including the present financing round, from Generation Investment Management and existing investors DAG Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Virgin Green Fund, Amadeus Capital and Balderton Capital.

Related Posts:

GreenRoad raises $15 million from DAG Ventures and existing investors

GreenRoad awarded contract for the world's largest teen driver technology-based safety program

UK bus company to deploy GreenRoad Safety Center

GreenRoad raises $17.5 million in Series C funding

Thursday, February 18, 2010

AquAgro Fund acquires Kinrot water incubator

AguAgro Fund LP has acquired water technology incubator Kinrot Technology Ventures from Canada's Stern Partners Inc. in a share-swap deal, reports Globes.

Stern Partners, run by president Ronald Stern, will reportedly get a stake in AquAgro, an Israeli venture capital fund focused on innovative water and agriculture technologies, although terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor regulations governing Israel's Technological Incubators Program require that AquAgro inject at least $3 million into Kinrot over three years.

Stern Partners ran Kinrot for the last three years following the incubator's privatization. Under the leadership of CEO Assaf Barnea, Kinrot has invested in a portfolio of 11 cleantech start-ups and entered into strategic partnership agreements with Israel's Mekorot, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and the Milwaukee 7 Water Council.

B. Gaon Holdings Ltd. controls AquAgro through Gaon Agro Industries Ltd.. Gaon Holdings CEO and Gaon Agro chairman Shai Preminger told Globes, "Gaon Holdings is one of the players that, a decade ago, inscribed on its flag investment in the water and cleantech industries, through Gaon Agro. The acquisition of Kinrot turns AquAgro, which we own, into the leading Israeli investor in the water and cleantech technologies."

Related Posts:

Los Angeles and Israel to cooperate on water research

Kinrot incubator names Assaf Barnea as CEO

Computerized Electricity Systems raises $3.75m from AquAgro Fund

AquAgro Fund announces launch of Aqua Lab for early stage investments

Advanced Desalination Technologies raises $4m from AquAgro Fund