Soliant Energy Receives Approximately $21 Million in Funding

Soliant Energy

Soliant Energy, a Monrovia, CA-based developer of solar technology solutions for the commercial rooftop market, announced at this week's Solar Power International '08 that it raised nearly $21 million in venture capital.  This financing was led by the venture capital group of GE Energy Financial Services, which invested $2.5 million.  Soliant’s other investors participated in this funding round, led by Convexa Capital. Previous Soliant Energy investors include RockPort Capital Partners, Nth Power, Trinity Ventures, and Rincon Venture Partners.

Art Buckland, Soliant's CEO, said, "GE's strategic investment is validation that our approach provides commercial customers with the lowest-cost solar electricity at the plug."

“Concentrating photovoltaic solar power is especially viable for space-constrained applications such as commercial rooftops, and Soliant is well positioned with its elegant design, market-leading efficiency and potential for low installed cost per kilowatt hour of energy produced,” said Kevin Walsh, Managing Director and leader of renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services.

Soliant Energy was founded in 2005 and was known as Practical Instruments until early 2007.  Using solar concentrators and other features, the company is developing products that it states will provide significant value for the commercial rooftop market.  Soliant Energy is aiming to open a 40-megawatt production plant and ship its first products for commercial rooftop applications in late 2009. Additional backgroound on Soliant Energy is available in this 2007 interview of founder Brad Hines (MP3 file, right-click to download). 

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Pentadyne Closes $22 Million Round of Financing

Pentadyne Power

Pentadyne Power, a developer and manufacturer of flywheel energy storage systems, recently announced that it closed a $22 million financing round, including the conversion of existing convertible ventures.  The new funds will be used to support the company’s expansion into new markets and the sales and production of new and existing products.

"This latest round of financing comes from our existing investor base – support from the folks who know the most about our company, our products, our talent and our capabilities," said Mark McGough, President and CEO of Pentadyne. "The commitment of these investors to continue their interests in the company speaks volumes about their confidence in the current and coming success Pentadyne enjoys in the marketplace."  Pentadyne investors include Nth Power, DTE Energy, Energy Innovations Portfolio AG, Sempra Energy, Electricité de France (EDF Group), Loudwater Investment Partners, and Ben Rosen.

Pentadyne’s flywheel energy storage systems are used for energy recycling applications and to replace hundreds of lead-acid batteries used with large-scale UPS (uninterruptible power supply) systems.  Flywheel systems use the inertia of a spinning mass to store and regenerate power (click image for larger version).

Pentadyne claims that its flywheels deliver an order of magnitude greater reliability than batteries, near-zero maintenance, have a footprint and lifecycle cost less than half that of batteries, and use 90% less power than other flywheels.  The company has sold and shipped more than 500 flywheels since shipping its first commercial production flywheel in 2004.