Thursday, May 19, 2011

Energy Management Software Funded: Hara raises additional 25 M$

Hara, a leading provider of environmental and energy management software, announced that it has received $25 million in Series C funding, the company’s largest round, bringing total investment to $45 million. Participants include Energy Technology Ventures, a joint venture of GE (NYSE: GE), NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), and ITOCHU Technology Ventures (ITV), as well as existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), JAFCO Ventures and Nth Power and new backers Focus Ventures and Navitas Capital. The funding will allow Hara to accelerate global expansion and product innovation, to meet growing demand from Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies for solutions to help optimize energy and resource use while minimizing environmental impact.

Hara is adding new strategic investors as it advances its growth plans across industries including manufacturing, utilities and oil and gas. These investors include – through Energy Technology Ventures –world-renowned advanced technology, services and finance company GE; ConocoPhillips, the third-largest integrated energy company in the U.S.; NRG Energy, owner and operator of one of the largest power generation portfolios in the nation; and ITV, the venture capital arm of leading Japanese trading group ITOCHU which has also entered into a strategic partnership with Hara to serve clients in Japan. The funding supports Hara’s global focus as an industry leader and is a testament to the adoption, comprehensiveness and scalability of the Hara™ Environmental and Energy Management (Hara EEM) solution.

“We have high hopes for our investment in Hara because of its solid commercial traction, strong management team and proven innovation,” said Ricardo Angel, a GE Energy Financial Services venture capital executive also representing Energy Technology Ventures. “Hara’s energy and environmental management solution presents opportunities for collaboration across GE, NRG Energy and ConocoPhillips.”

Hara, which has secured more than 50 leading industry and government customers and demonstrated rapid innovation, was selected as a winner of the GE Ecomagination Challenge’s “Powering the Grid” program. The Ecomagination Challenge demonstrates GE’s global commitment to accelerate the development and deployment of innovative power-grid technologies through open collaboration, while providing financial support to develop and commercialize innovative technologies. Hara’s centralized management and decision making solution will enable the identification of innovative energy reduction and management technologies and capture related best practices, including those of other GE Ecomagination Challenge winners.

Ray Lane Becomes Chairman of the Board

KPCB managing partner Ray Lane joins Hara’s board of directors as chairman, where he will work closely with the leadership to drive the company’s global expansion. Lane brings more than 20 years of experience guiding the world’s top IT companies. Prior to joining KPCB in 2000, Lane served as president and chief operating officer of Oracle Corporation, where he oversaw multi-billion dollar revenue growth and core business expansion.

“Hara is already the established leader in the energy and resource management space and I have been impressed with the dramatic market momentum it has built over the past couple of years,” said Ray Lane. “Effective energy and environmental management is now a business imperative that requires full accountability from companies and their stakeholders across industries.”

“Hara has thrived by meeting the increasing demands of organizations looking to improve their bottom line by better managing their energy and resource consumption, and we continue to see tremendous growth opportunity in the market,” said Amit Chatterjee, CEO and founder, Hara. “Hara is thrilled to partner with industry and energy leaders who share our vision, and with Ray Lane’s technological, organizational and market insight, we will focus on continuing to aggressively scale our business in the U.S. and beyond.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nordex wins 150 MW Blaiken Project in Sweden - SkellefteƄ Kraft, Fortum

Nordex has won the largest order awarded for an onshore wind project in Sweden to date: as of summer 2012 the turbine manufacturer will be building “Blaiken”, a 150 MW wind farm. The customers are SkellefteĆ„ Kraft, a leading energy supplier in Sweden and Fortum, one of the largest power utilities in Europe, based in Finland. SkellefteĆ„ Kraft and Fortum have placed a firm order for 60 turbines for “Blaiken” thus accelerating the originally intended call-off schedule of themaster agreement entered into last year. The N100/2500 machines will be fitted with Nordex’ new anti-icing system for rotor blades.

The successful development of the anti-icing system was a key criterion for the order. Nordex designed this system especially for sites where there is a risk of ice forming on the rotor blade. This can result in substantial production losses. An integrated heating system now prevents icing, thereby maximising the yield.

In autumn 2010 Nordex installed the first N100/2500 turbines with anti-icing in “Jokkmokksliden”, the forerunner project to “Blaiken”. The wind turbine manufacturer tested and optimised the system on the basis of three prototypes and one reference machine. “The cost-benefit ratio of anti-icing persuaded us to have all the turbines equipped with this innovative system,” says Risto Andsten,Vice President Renewable Energy, Fortum.

“Our new anti-icing system is the result of collaboration between different functions within our company, and we are pleased to now see the system put into commercial operation on one of thelargest projects in Europe. We are now able to offer an attractive option for all customers planning projects at locations with ice and frost,” says Lars Bondo Krogsgaard, Chief Sales Officer at Nordex SE.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Energy Efficiency: Orion Awarded in Wisconsin

Orion Energy Systems, Inc. (NYSE Amex: OESX), a leading power technology enterprise, was honored to be recognized by Corporate Report Wisconsin as a 2011 Small Business Success Story. Orion Energy Systems was one of five awardees including Impromed, Centare Group, Precision Drawn Metals and Fontarome Chemical. Altogether, the Awardees were described by Corporate Report Wisconsin as ‘five of the most interesting small businesses in Wisconsin.’

David Folz of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce offered opening remarks and stressed the need for Wisconsin businesses to be innovative and creative like the award winners.

Corporate Report Wisconsin is a publication of Nei-Turner Media. President of Nei-Turner Media, Bill Turner, was on hand to introduce the award winners and stated, “When I saw the news with Obama visiting Orion, I said to our Publisher ‘We’ve got to find out about this company!’”

Kevin Crawford, Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Corporate Communications accepted the award on behalf of Orion Energy Systems. “Orion’s success comes from its founder and CEO’s vision and commitment,” remarked Crawford. “Neal Verfuerth is an innovator who knows how to bring product to market. He’s also committed to hiring the best talent possible and ‘bolting’ that talent on to the Orion machine,” Crawford continued. Crawford also praised the company’s philosophy to exceed customer needs quickly and adeptly. “Orion’s innovative solutions can help a company substantially cut its lighting costs. With lighting being typically 35 percent or more of a company’s total energy spend, reducing these costs impacts the bottom line in a big way,” stated Crawford. “Orion has achieved ‘grid parity’ for its 266,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing facility. There is no reason that the last power plant built in the United States shouldn’t be the last power plant built in the United States,” Crawford concluded.

Orion Energy Systems has accumulated numerous awards to date including the Platts Global Energy Award, Alliance to Save Energy Super Nova Award, Plant Engineering Product of the Year Award, and Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award among others.

Corporate Report Wisconsin teamed up with the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh College of Business and DiRenzo & Bomier, LLC as sponsoring judges of the competition.

Orion Energy Systems, Inc. (NYSE Amex: OESX) is a leading power technology enterprise that designs, manufactures and deploys energy management systems – consisting primarily of high-performance, energy-efficient lighting platforms, intelligent wireless control systems and direct renewable solar technology for commercial and industrial customers – without compromising their quantity and quality of light.

Vestas wins 102 MW Tehachapi Project from Brookfield and Coram

Vestas has received a 102 MW order for 34 V90-3.0 MW turbines for a wind-energy project in Tehachapi, California, USA, owned by Brookfield Renewable Power (“Brookfield”) and Coram California Development Management, LLC (“CCDM”).

The contract includes delivery and commissioning along with a two-year service and maintenance agreement. Delivery is scheduled for the second half of 2011 and commissioning is expected in late 2011.

“We look forward to working with Brookfield and Coram to bring cost-effective, predictable and clean wind energy to California,” said Martha Wyrsch, President of Vestas Americas. “The V90-3.0 MW is designed to operate in areas of medium-to-high winds, so it is the ideal turbine for this site.”

This project will provide direct and indirect economic benefits to Kern County with long-term jobs and property-tax revenues generated from the turbines.

“This high-quality wind-power project complements our strategy of expanding our renewable power presence in California,” said Kim Osmars, COO of Brookfield Renewable Power’s U.S. Operations. “This order represents an important project milestone, and completion of the facility is expected to bring Brookfield’s North American wind portfolio to more than 600 megawatts of installed capacity by the end of 2011.”

Brookfield recently began construction of the Granite Reliable Wind Project in New Hampshire, which is using 33 V90-3.0 MW turbines from Vestas.

Once this California project is finished, Vestas will have 1,255 MW of its industry-leading wind turbines throughout the state.

“Coram has been working on this development for several years and is proud to be working with Brookfield and Vestas to finally bring it to market,” said Brian O’Sullivan, President of CCDM. “We look forward to doing future projects with both Brookfield and Vestas.”

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Solar Funding: Wells Fargo to invest $ 120 M in SunEdison Photovoltaic PPAs

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) and SunEdison LLC, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR), announced an agreement by which Wells Fargo subsidiaries will invest up to $120 million to fund U.S. solar photovoltaic distributed generation power projects developed by SunEdison over the next year. The program builds on a SunEdison solar investment fund established in 2007 in which Wells Fargo invested more than $200 million in approximately 150 solar projects developed by SunEdison in eight states.

"Wells Fargo is excited to continue our relationship with SunEdison and expand our commitment to grow the U.S. solar market," said Barry Neal, head of Wells Fargo'sEnvironmental Finance Group. "The solar projects developed by SunEdison will help businesses and public entities better control their electricity costs, while expanding the use of renewable energy throughout the U.S."

Financing provided by Wells Fargo will enable SunEdison to cost-effectively provide a clean and reliable source of electricity to its customers, including corporations and municipalities. Under the power purchase agreement (PPA) model, SunEdison builds, manages, and operates the solar systems while its customers buy the energy produced at prices at or below retail rates. This allows customers to avoid upfront costs typically associated with solar projects.

"SunEdison makes investing in solar a smart choice," said Chris Bailey, SunEdison vice president of Project Finance, North America. “SunEdison has the experience and know-how that project investors and customers trust. SunEdison looks forward to growing its relationship with Wells Fargo as we continue to make solar a reality for our customers across the nation."

SunEdison, a leading worldwide solar energy services provider, has deployed over 400 solar projects totaling over 160MW in North America, and has developed over 100MW outside of North America.

Wells Fargo has provided more than $2 billion in tax equity financing for renewable energy projects since 2006, including funding for 30 wind projects, over 200 commercial-scale solar projects and one utility-scale solar thermal project.

Energy Efficiency Education at Nichols School with QA Graphics' Dashboard

Nichols School Promotes Sustainable Education with QA Graphics’ Dashboard
Nichols School in Buffalo, NY, uses QA Graphics’ Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard to show real-time energy usage for the campus to educate the students about the school’s sustainable initiatives and efficient resource use.

QA Graphics®, provider of the award-winning Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard®, has created an educational display for Nichols School in Buffalo, New York, to help inform students about the campus’ sustainable initiatives and efficient resource use.

Nichols School, a coed college preparatory independent school serving students in grades 5-12, was named the winner of QA Graphics’ 2010 “Showcase Your School’s Green Efforts” contest. QA Graphics had called on schools nationwide to share why their school is sustainable, and worked with the national U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to reach out to state USGBC chapters for contest support and judging. Then, the public cast their vote to decide which school should be awarded with QA Graphics’ Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard, an interactive display the school can use to educate about sustainability and the environment.

“Nichols School was chosen for their dedication to environmental responsibility, education, and sustainability and we’re pleased to have named them as the winner of an Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard,” said Dan McCarty, president of QA Graphics. “It can enhance their green curriculum program, providing students, faculty, as well as parents with a creative approach to environmental education.”

The school has a comprehensive approach to promote campus sustainability, known as the Big Green Initiative, which is organized by a group of administrators, staff, faculty and students. “Our Big Green Initiative for environmental consciousness illustrates our commitment to sustainability and our dedication to helping our students become stewards of the environment,” said Rick Bryan, head of school at Nichols. “It is not enough to celebrate environmental awareness one day a year or only on paper. Nichols School is part of a movement to live green on a day-to-day basis, and we work diligently to weave this into daily life and curriculum at Nichols.”

The Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard serves as another means to encourage this environmental awareness. Displayed on a touchscreen in the Class of 1963 Center for Mathematics and Science building, it illustrates the campus’ efficient resource use and sustainable initiatives. Students can walk up to the display and see how much energy each of the six buildings on campus is using. A leaderboard also shows how each of the building’s resource use compares to one another. The Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard is also available online for parents and the community to access. It can be viewed at:

Students can interact with the display to learn how different sustainable features help the campus conserve resources, like the building management system, high-efficiency boilers, low-flow plumbing fixtures, energy efficient windows and lighting fixtures. They can learn about the school’s recycling and composting programs and see interactive demonstrations to understand how the campus’ daylighting, HVAC system and green roof help conserve resources. Students can also test their “green” knowledge with a quiz.

“Our Green Key Curriculum allows students to gain environmental consciousness and responsibility by incorporating what they’ve learned into their everyday lives,” said Joshua Ring, a science teacher at Nichols. “Environmental awareness is not enough; we want students to actually change their behaviors so that their interactions are future-looking and responsible.”

Faculty at Nichols is excited to have authentic data to use in the classrooms because of the relevancy it offers students. On Earth Day, Josh Ring and members of a school club, Students for Environmental Awareness and Action, used real-time electricity data provided by the Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard to form a contest called “Power Down Competition”. For half the school day, they reviewed energy usage among the six different buildings on campus as students competed to lower their electrical usage. The students calculated the percentage drop from a base value for each of the buildings and students in the building with the highest percentage drop were awarded prizes.

“The dashboard will allow also students to actively learn math by compiling building data,” said MaryAnne Hejna, math department chair at Nichols. “Students will study how electric needs vary on a day-to-day basis as well as on a seasonal cycle. The dashboard will collect this tangible data and infuse live math into daily classes for students to manipulate and learn from.”

For example, when working on a data set in an AP Statistics class, students can now use real numbers that pertain to their everyday lives at school. They can explore why certain buildings use more resources and speculate reasons for peak times and days for usage. They can explore why buildings with science and technology classes use more energy, and consider the distribution of different heating and cooling systems throughout the buildings on campus.

QA Graphics’ solution is used by schools, universities, restaurants, commercial businesses, government organizations and others to provide sustainable education. It has been named a 2010 top green building product by Environmental Design + Construction and Sustainable Facility magazines’ annual Readers Choice Awards as well as a 2010 top 10 green building product by Sustainable Industries magazine. It can contribute towards satisfying the USGBC’s Innovation in Design Green Education credit and a variety of points under The Green Building Initiative’s™ Green Globes®. To learn more about the Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard, visit

Enecsys Solar Microinverters get $41 M to deploy

* Climate Change Capital Private Equity leads the funding round and joins existing investors Wellington Partners, NES Partners and Good Energies for the largest private equity raise by any European cleantech company, so far, in 2011 *

Enecsys Limited, the leader in reliable, long-life solar micro inverter systems for residential and commercial applications, has secured a further £25 million ($41 million) in equity financing to invest in its growth plan.

Enecsys was founded in 2003 and its patented technology was originally developed at Cambridge University in the UK. Solar inverters convert the DC power produced by solar photovoltaic (PV) modules into AC power for supply to the electricity grid. Enecsys micro inverters are installed on the rail behind solar modules, either one inverter per solar module or one for every two modules. The Enecsys micro inverter represents a breakthrough in inverter design for residential and commercial solar PV installations as its technology has, for the first time, eliminated components that limit inverter life. Additionally the Enecsys micro inverter enables solar PV systems to harvest between 5% and 20% more energy; it makes planning and installation of PV systems easier and safer due to the elimination of high voltage DC wiring, and it enhances system optimization by monitoring the performance of each solar module. Enecsys has recently launched its products in Europe and North America and the latest financing has been arranged to facilitate substantial expected growth.

Climate Change Capital Private Equity led this Series B equity financing with an investment of £11 million ($18 million). The balance, £14 million ($23 million), was secured from the existing Enecsys investors, Wellington Partners, NES Partners (formerly known as Bankinvest New Energy Solutions) and Good Energies, who together previously invested £8.5 million ($14.3 million) in Enecsys in a Series A financing in 2009. The latest financing round represents the largest private equity raise in the European cleantech sector so far this year.

Mossadiq Umedaly, Enecsys’ Executive Chairman, said: “We chose Climate Change Capital Private Equity, one of the largest and most experienced investors in clean power, because of their excellent fit with us and they have decided to invest in Enecsys after a thorough investigation of our business strategy, technology and product road map, management team and future prospects. We welcome Climate Change Capital Private Equity to our strong investor team and board. We also appreciate the confidence shown by our existing investors who have again participated in such a significant way in this financing round.”

Simon Drury, a Partner at Climate Change Capital Private Equity, who will join the board of Enecsys commented: “The ability for Enecsys to provide high performance, cost effective micro inverters with the reliability and life expectancy to match that of solar modules fundamentally changes the economic model of solar PV and will play an important role in growing the market for this clean power source. We are delighted to have the opportunity to participate in the company’s success.”

Bart Markus of Wellington Partners, an existing Enecsys investor, added: “We are pleased with the progress that Enecsys has made since our initial investment in 2009, and the opportunity the market currently presents to Enecsys is huge; as of today Enecsys has the only certified micro inverter solution in production in the European market, which represents 75% of the world’s residential solar market – this round of funding will allow us to accelerate the execution of this opportunity.”

Henrik Raunkjaer, Enecsys’ CEO commented: “The resources from this financing will be used to execute our growth strategy by accelerating our product development and cost reduction plan and expanding our global presence in sales, marketing, customer service and manufacturing to serve every major market.”