The Week in Cleantech – March 25 – 31

Concentrating solar power (CSP) plant developer eSolar led headlines last week with news that it’s raised $12.8 million out of a hoped-for $30 million growth round. The company is betting on the power-smoothing ability of its molten salt thermal storage technology, as well as its strategic partnership with natural gas power giant GE, to prove the economic viability of its solar power tower plants at a time when project developers are increasingly turning to cheaper PV.

Cellulosic ethanol producer Mascoma became the latest biofuels company to withdraw a planned IPO. In the past year, a veritable flock of biofuels producers have done so, including Enerkem, Fulcrum Bioenergy, Coskata, Genomatica, and Elevance. Macoma is backed by several prominent VCs, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and VantagePoint, as well as strategic investors including General Motors and Valero.

Elsewhere in venture capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers raised eyebrows with its latest energy-related investment, in a $4 million Series A round co-invested with Stephens Capital into Choose Energy. The company is an energy retailer focused on deregulated markets like Texas, and offers consumers choices like power procured partially or wholly from renewable sources.

Finally, we hope you’ll join us April 16-18 at Cleantech Forum Europe in Bilbao! Register today!