Weekly Investor Round Up

After declined significantly in 4Q08 and 1Q09, cleantech venture investment rebounded in 2Q09, according to newly released figures. Venture capitalists put
$1.2 billion into 94 different companies during 2Q. That’s up 12% from
the previous quarter, although down 44% from the same period a year
ago. The transportation sector led with more than $600 million going to
vehicles, biofuels and advanced batteries. But solar investments hit
their lowest point in more than three years with just over $100 million for companies developing solar technologies.

Riverstone Holdings LLC has purchased the wind development portfolio of Babcock & Brown,
marking the private equity group’s first foray into wind power.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the 4,000 megawatts (MW) project pipeline will be used to form a new
company called Pattern Energy Group LP. The company will retain Babcock
& Brown’s development staff of about 80 employees. Australia-based
Babcock & Brown is selling off all of its assets after being
declared insolvent in March of this year. Babcock & Brown’s
Bluewater Wind LLC was one of three companies awarded exploratory leases last week for federal waters off the coasts of New Jersey and Delaware.

High-profile smart grid company GridPoint, Inc. acquired Lixar, an Ottawa-based company developing user interfaces for smart grid devices. The acquisition adds to GridPoint’s software offerings and establishes  the company in the Canadian market. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

In other smart-grid news, Itron Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI), an
established competitor to GridPoint, announced that it will integrate
it’s advanced metering platform with applications developed by two
separate companies. Massachusetts-based Ambient Corporation (OTCBB:ABTG) will partner with Itron to market an end-to-end system for utilities and customers. And New Jersey-based Comverge Inc. (Nasdaq: COMV) will do the same, with a focus on providing utilities with the tools needed to enable demand response.

ICP Solar Technologies Inc. (OTCBB: ICPR.OB, FRANKFURT: K1U.F) announced that it has
signed a three-year global licensing agreement with battery maker Energizer (NYSE: ENR). Financial terms of the deal were not released, but ICP
Solar said it will begin rolling out solar-powered battery chargers
and related products under the Energizer name in 3Q09.

The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) announced plans to
work with Algenol Biofuels, Inc. to build and operate a pilot-scale biorefinery
that will use algae to convert carbon dioxide
(CO2) into ethanol. The facility will be located at Dow’s
Freeport, Texas site. Algenol will combine CO2 from Dow’s manufacturing
facility with seawater and a hybrid algae
in sealed, clear plastic photobioreactors. Algenol said the
process is capable of
producing more than 6,000 gallons of ethanol per acre per year, compared to
400 gallons for corn. Algenol has applied for a Department of Energy
grant to support the pilot plant.

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) announced it will fund up to $100 million
in commercial-scale solar systems to be built by SunPower Corp.
(Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB). SunPower will enter into power purchase
agreements with customers and Wells Fargo will finance the systems that
will be built on-site. The first projects will be a 1 MW system for
University of California, Merced, and a 1-MW system for
the Western Riverside County Regional Wastewater Authority in

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)(NYSE: PCG) has signed an agreement with a
subsidiary of NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG) for 92 megawatts (MW) of solar thermal power. Alpine SunTower, LLC,
will build the power plant using the modular solar thermal system
designed by eSolar. The project is scheduled for completion in 2012 and
will be located near Lancaster, California.

Lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems has amended its SEC registration
for a proposed IPO. In August 2008 the company filed for a $175 million
initial offering, but since that time the company has raised $100
million in new funding and announced a supply deal with Chrysler.
The company has also applied for about $1.5 billion in federal loans
and grants. And since these federal programs require partial matching
funds, it’s likely that the company will raise the monetary target for
its IPO. John Petersen of Alt Energy Stocks said he believes that the IPO is
likely to take place in early September and will be a key indicator for
the energy storage sector.

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