Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Investment in renewable energy

There have been two releases from ABB on investments in various countries on wind and wave energy resources.

ABB invests in wind technology company
ABB has made a strategic investment in Pentalum Technologies, an Israel-based company developing advanced wind sensing technology for control and optimisation of wind turbines and wind farms.

Pentalum is developing an innovative LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology that remotely senses the wind vector in front of wind turbines in order to optimally align them to incoming wind flow. Pentalum’s system is also applicable to wind forecasting and site assessment, and is designed to significantly increase wind farm efficiency at a lower cost per site than existing measurement technologies.

The investment was made through ABB Technology Ventures, ABB’s venture capital arm, which invests in early and growth stage companies with technologies of strategic importance to the industry segments the company serves. Other participants in funding for Pentalum included Cedar Fund, which led the round; and Evergreen Venture Partners, both from Israel; and Draper Fischer Jurvetson from the US.

"Cost and complexity issues are hampering the widespread adoption of optimization systems for wind power,” said Girish Nadkarni, head of ABB Technology Ventures. "We have invested in Pentalum because we believe their technical approach will significantly improve profitability for developers and operators of this important renewable energy source.”

“Given ABB’s broad expertise and strong position with wind turbine manufacturers and wind farm developers and operators, they are a very strong partner for Pentalum,” said Sagie Tsadka, President and CEO of Pentalum. “Our wind sensing technology can significantly improve the performance of wind turbines and wind farms, and ABB can be instrumental in helping us deliver this benefit to the marketplace through their extensive customer base.”

ABB provides a wide range of products, integrated solutions and expertise that enable the efficient generation of wind power and its smooth integration into the grid. Customers include turbine manufacturers, engineering contractors, independent power producers and utilities.

ABB invests in renewable energy company
Technology generates clean electricity from nearshore wave energy

ABB has invested about $13 million in Aquamarine Power, a Scottish company that has developed technology to convert energy captured from waves near shore into clean, usable electricity.

ABB Technology Ventures, the company's venture capital arm, made the investment in a funding round that also included a $4.8 million investment from SSE Venture Capital, the venture capital unit of Scottish and Southern Energy and other investors.

The investment gives ABB access to another renewable energy technology, and provides an entry into the emerging marine energy market, where ABB has considerable pull-through sales potential for its power systems, power electronics and medium-voltage drives.

"Wave energy is primed to become an important part of the world's renewable energy portfolio,”
said Brice Koch, head of ABB Marketing and Customer Solutions, which oversees the company’s renewable energy initiatives among other activities. "This investment reflects our belief in its technical viability, and our confidence in Aquamarine’s technology and its management team.”

Aquamarine’s Oyster wave power device consists of a hinged mechanical flap connected to the nearshore seabed that pipes high-pressure water to an onshore turbine for power generation. The system is easier to install and maintain than other wave power generation systems, and has won a number of renewable energy innovation awards.

In November 2009, the first full-scale demonstrator Oyster began producing power at the European Marine Energy Center based in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. Once commercialized, Oyster wave power devices could be deployed in farms rated at 100 megawatts or more.

“This strategic investment gives ABB an early-mover advantage in our wave energy technology, while we gain access to ABB’s technical, research and engineering expertise and global supply chain network,” said Aquamarine Power CEO, Martin McAdam.

ABB Technology Ventures invests in strategically interesting early and growth stage companies. To date, investment areas include smart grid communications, cyber security for utilities, data center power optimization and wind farm efficiency.

 

No comments:

Post a Comment