This Week’s CleanTech Industry News: $1.94B Sale of Waste-To-Energy Business Wheelabrator Technologies

$1.94B Sale of Waste-To-Energy Business

Waste Management is selling Wheelabrator Technologies, a waste-to-energy business that generated $845M in revenue in 2013, to private equity firm Energy Capital Partners, which invests in energy infrastructure, for $1.94B.

Wheelabrator operates 17 waste-to-energy facilities and four independent power-producing facilities in the U.S. that process over 7.5M tons of waste and have a combined electric generating capacity of 853MW. In addition to generating power from solid municipal waste, it’s capable of generating electricity from materials such as waste wood, waste coal and natural gas. Click here.

BNEF: $2.5B Invested in Energy Storage and EV Batteries, Big Growth Ahead

There’s been $2.5B of investment in lithium ion battery and stationary energy storage markets combined through 1H 2014, says Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Logan Goldie Scott in a Bloomberg video. The growing synergies between the two storage markets (stationary and EV lithium ion batteries) have caused BNEF to look at them as one single market.

BNEF expects EV sales to go from 200K in 2013 to 1.4M in 2020, and the stationary energy storage market to grow nine-fold during same period, says Scott.

Greater demand for EVs will spark more battery production facilities to be built over the coming years, including Tesla’s proposed 35GW per year factory, which is equivalent to total current global capacity, says Scott. In addition to growing demand for EVs, long-term storage market drivers include energy storage units being installed in people’s homes.

New Energy Storage Project Developments

Tyngsborough-Mass-based Beacon Power announced that its 20MW flywheel energy storage system facility in Hazle Township, Pennsylvania has reached full commercial operations. The facility, which includes 200 flywheels, will be used to create a more stable electrical grid in Pennsylvania. In addition to the Pennsylvania project, Beacon operates two other commercial flywheel facilities, including a 20MW plant in Stephentown, New York. Private equity firm Rockland Capital acquired Beacon Power through a bankruptcy proceeding in 2012.

LightSail Energy set up the world’s first compressed air system connected to a wind project that works with a utility. The project is being developed at ReNova Scotia Bioenergy Inc. in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia. Click here to read more.

LightSail received $37.3M in a Series D funding led by angel investor Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, in 2012. The funding included Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures, and Innavacorp.

The first grid-connected flywheel energy storage facility in Canada, located in Ontario, is now operational. The 2MW flywheel storage facility, made by Temporal Power, will provide regulation service to Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator. Temporal Power was founded in 2008 and raised $10M in Series B funding in 2013 from investors Northwater Intellectual Property Fund and Enbridge Emerging Technology. Click here to read more.

Stanford’s Pure Lithium Anode Battery Breakthrough

Stanford scientists took a big step in developing a pure lithium anode battery for rechargeable batteries, something that has so far eluded battery designers. An anode of pure lithium would be a huge boost to battery efficiency. The research paper was published in the journal Nature.

The Stanford research team developing the battery breakthough includes Steven Chu, the former U.S. secretary of energy. “In practical terms, if we can triple the energy density and simultaneously decrease the cost four-fold, that would be very exciting,” Chu said. “We would have a cell phone with triple the battery life and an electric vehicle with a 300-mile range that cost $25,000 – and with better performance than an internal combustion engine car getting 40 mpg” says Chu. Click here for Stanford’s news release.

California Can Run on 100% Renewable Energy By 2050

Stanford researchers published a paper saying it’s technically and economically feasible for California to run entirely on clean energy by 2050 using existing sources. The study concludes that the upfront capital costs would be more than offset by lower energy expenses and it could add 220,000 jobs. The study, published in ScienceDirect, outlines a plan to fulfill all of California’s transportation, electric power, industry, and heating and cooling energy needs with renewable energy by 2050. Click here for Stanford’s news release.



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