Weekly Investor Roundup

Honeywell (NYSE:HON) and DuPont (NYSE:DD) announced a
manufacturing joint venture to produce a new, environmentally-friendly refrigerant for use in
automotive air conditioning systems. The new refrigerant has 99.7% lower
global warming potential (GWP) than the current refrigerant used in automobiles, and the companies plan to build what they called a "world-scale" facility for manufacturing. The companies did not say where it will be located or when construction will begin. However, they will begin making deliveries of the refrigerant from other manufacturing facilities in 4Q11. This will allow the companies to meet a deadline for new automobile refrigerants in the European Union. Ironically, carbon dioxide is one of the refrigerants being considered as a replacement for the gases currently used, which are hundreds or even thousands of times more potent in regards to global warming. However, Honeywell and DuPont claim that their product allows for greater energy efficiency than straight carbon dioxide.

Utility-scale solar thermal company BrightSource Energy added two big-name investors in its latest $150 million round of funding. Global power-generation company Alstom (ALO.PA) and the California State
Teachers
Retirement
System

(CalSTRS) joined existing investors
including Morgan Stanley and Draper
Fisher Jurvetson. Alstom’s $55 million contribution marks the company’s first solar venture, and Alstom Power President Philippe Joubert said the two companies intend to enter into an industrial
relationship.
The Series D round brings BrightSource’s total equity financing to more
than $300 million. BrightSource said the funding will be used to support contracts for 14 solar power plants in the US Southwest and international expansion plans.

Riverstone Holdings LLC has funded its renewable energy development company to the tune of $800 million
Pattern Energy Group invested $1 billion over the past nine months and has 522 megawatts (MW) of wind projects in operation or under construction in North America. CEO Mike Garland said the company is now well-funded to pursue opportunistic acquisitions, such as the acquisition of Babcock & Brown’s wind development portfolio, which led to the creation of the company two years ago.

German company Mage Solar GmbH announced
plans to establish a North American headquarters and production facility
in Dublin, Georgia.
The company said it will invest $30 million in the facility, which will also host a solar academy for industry training. Initial production capacity will be 40 MW, with expansion
plans for up to 800MW. Production of crystalline solar cells is scheduled to begin around the end
of this year.

The world’s largest producer of solar inverters, SMA Solar Technology
(S92.DE) announced last week it will be unable to raise its output in 2Q10 to
meet increasing demand. The company’s shares fell about 2% on the news, despite the fact that the company reported its most successful first quarter ever. The boost in demand is being driven by German solar developers who are rushing to complete installations before the country cuts subsidies in the third quarter. SMA said its semiconductor suppliers will be unable to keep promises of additional deliveries, meaning the company will miss out on the limited opportunity. Nonetheless, the company, which has more than a 40% market share, maintained its full-year sales forecast between EUR 1.1 billion and EUR 1.3 billion.

American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: AMSC) announced a new
multi-year order
worth approximately US$445 million from China’s Sinovel Wind
Group Co., Ltd
.
AMSC will begin shipping core electrical components for Sinovel’s
1.5-megawatt (MW) wind turbines in early 2011. Since beginning production in 2006, Sinovel has grown faster than any wind turbine manufacturer in the world, and the company has plans to increase production of 3-MW and 5-MW turbines utilizing designs developed by AMSC. AMSC is finding that China is fertile territory for development of its wind power technology. The company also has agreements with Dongfang Turbine Company and Shenyang Blower Works.

Navistar, Inc. (NYSE: NAV) announced delivery of its first
full-production, all-electric commercial
truck to FedEx (NYSE: FDX) and the company expects to
deliver 400 units by the end of 2010. The company is currently taking orders for the new medium-duty vehicle, called the eStar. It is
the first commercial vehicle to receive certification from the EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
The truck has a range of 100 miles per charge, making it ideal for many
urban applications. It can be recharged overnight, or the battery unit can be swapped out in about 20 minutes. Last August, Navistar received $39.2 million in federal stimulus money to build the eStar in Indiana.

 

 

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