It was a week of acquisitions in the cleantech industry.
The biggest was the acquisition of offshore wind developer Bluewater Wind by power generation company NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG). Terms of the acquisiton were not disclosed, though NRG said it completed the transaction with cash on hand. Bluewater, one of the leading offshore wind developers focused on the Northeast US coast, was previously owned by Babcock & Brown and Arcadia Windpower.
Bluewater’s development team is currently working on at least seven offshore projects in the Northeast, including ones
in Delaware and New Jersey that are in advanced stages of development. Bluewater’s existing development team will become NRG employees,
working out of Bluewater’s office in Hoboken, NJ.
China Solar Power (CSP), a manufacturer of thin film
photovoltaic modules, announced that it
purchased ThinSilicon, Inc., a developer of manufacturing
process technology based in Mountain View, CA. No financial terms were disclosed. ThinSilicon was founded three years ago and developed a
device and process technology to boost panel efficiency and
manufacturing throughput. China Solar Power’s first manufacturing facility recently began operation in the city of Yantai,
China. That plant has a capacity of 32 megawatts (MW) per year, but the company said it has new manufacturing facilities under construction and
development that will eventually produce 500 MW of thin-film solar panels each year.
Elsewhere in the solar industry, Applied Materials (Nasdaq:AMAT) acquired the assets of
Advent Solar for an undisclosed cash amount. The acquisition includes Advent Solar’s intellectual property for advances in crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar production. Advent Solar has developed several innovations for producing cells
and modules, including technology for streamlining module assembly. The innovations are expected to be appended to Applied Materials current offerings of silicon wafer and cell production lines.
High-profile smart grid company GridPoint has acquired ADMMicro, a developer of energy management systems for
the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector. Financial terms were not disclosed. The acquisition extends GridPoint’s smart grid offerings to a broader customer base. ADMMicro’s
energy management and submetering systems automatically monitor and
control energy consumption, including HVAC systems and lighting, for commercial operations. This will add to GridPoint’s existing softare portfolio, which aggregates and manages distributed sources of load,
storage and generation for utilities and their residential customers.
GridPoint is currently working with utilities including Austin Energy, Duke Energy (NYSE:
DUK), Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and Xcel Energy
Power generation company AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) announced it will
raise $1.58 billion by selling approximately 15% of the company to an
investment subsidiary of China Investment Corporation (CIC). AES is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia and owns and operates a
portfolio of power generation and distribution businesses in 29
countries, primarily outside the US. The company said it also plans to sell 35% of its wind generation business for an additional $571 million. AES said it will use the new equity to fund growth opportunities, including investments in renewable energy. China Investment Corporation will acquire 125.5 million shares of AES stock for
$12.60 per share.
Landis+Gyr, a leading European smart meter company, announced that it has raised
US$100 million from company shareholders to fund the rapid growth
needed to meet US$1 billion in orders acquired over the last year. Landis+Gyr CEO, Cameron O’Reilly, said substantial growth in the company’s U.S. business
is compensating for a challenging trading environment in Europe, and
allowing the company to have orders, sales and profits that
exceed expectations. One of Landis+Gyr’s US customers, the Texas utility Oncor, is about halfway through the roll-out of 700,000 smart meters in the metro Dallas area. Landis+Gyr also is working with noteable industry partners including GE (NYSE: GE), SAP (NYSE: SAP) and Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO).
Renewable Energy developer Enfinity announced a collaboration with solar manufacturer Titan Energy Systems to develop, finance and construct 1 gigawatt (GW) of PV
installations in Andhra Pradesh, India over the
next five years. The local government has allocated 3,000 acres for long-term lease for the collaboration. Enfinity will develop and finance this project while Titan Energy will act as a contractor and supplier of the PV Modules. Titan Energy is a major customer of Atlanta, Georgia-based solar cell producer Suniva.
Power Technologies (NASDAQ:OPTT)(OPT.L) announced that, in
partnership with Leighton Contractors (ASX:LEI), it has received an
A$66 million grant from the Federal Government of Australia to build
a 19-MW wave power project off the coast of Victoria. The project is to be developed in three phases by a special purpose company, Victorian Wave Partners, that was formed by OPT at the end of last year. Construction on the first phase is expected to begin in 2Q10 and will employ OPT’s patented PowerBuoy® system.
Under the new leadership of European carmaker Fiat, Chrysler apparently has abandoned its plans for electric vehicle development. The Obama administration gave a 20% stake in Chrysler to Fiat, which is known for building small, fuel efficienct vehicles. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne this week outlined a plan to turn around Chrysler’s
failing business, forecasting the company will break even on a net
basis in 2011. However, the plan mentioned nothing of the 500,000 battery-powered vehicles Chrysler previously said it would have on the road by 2013. Furthermore, Chrysler’s dedicated electric vehicle development group "Envi" has been dissolved into regular development operations. It’s unclear at this point what the company will do with the $70 million DOE grant it received to develop a test fleet of electric vehicles.