Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation bankroll project to turn ‘fecal sludge’ into biodiesel

An environmental engineering professor at Columbia University has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a new sanitation facility that could convert human fecal matter into biodiesel or methane gas. Professor Kartik Chandran said that the project – to be tested in Accra, Ghana — creates a low-cost biodiesel refinery… Read More


Fresh off Rockefeller Center win, Optimum Energy lands $5M

Optimum Energy, whose software is used to reduce energy consumption in buildings, has raised $5 million in new financing. Total funding in the Seattle company now stands at $19 million. “We will use the additional funding to accelerate product development and expand our direct and indirect sales teams,” Optimum CEO Matthew Frey tells GeekWire. The… Read More


Clean water startup PotaVida takes top prize at UW business plan competition

From healthy French fries to to online travel planning services to urban grocery stores in converted shipping containers, this year’s University of Washington business plan competition had a little bit of everything. It started with 104 teams from eight colleges and universities in the region, with the UW’s Connie Bourassa-Shaw noting that more than 400… Read More


Boeing, Alaska Air, WSU and others set ‘flight plan’ for renewable aviation fuels in the NW

A group of more than 40 regional companies, government entities and educational institutions have come together to explore the possibilities of creating an aviation biofuels industry in the Pacific Northwest. The group, operating under the acronym SAFN or Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest, released a report today which offers “flight paths” to tap into the Northwest’s vast… Read More


Ford touts electric vehicles at Seattle Green Festival

The Seattle Green Festival is taking place this weekend at the Qwest Event Center, featuring everyone from Rep. Dennis Kucinich talking about “reconnecting with the natural world” to programs about Wal-Mart’s “green revolution.” Ford Motor Co. kicked off the event by showcasing its Transit Connect Electric vehicle, an all-electric commercial van designed for local florists… Read More


Benaroya backs smart grid software startup Calico Energy

Calico Energy has developed technologies to help residential and business customers reduce energy costs, a proposition that’s winning the Bellevue company fans with venture capitalists. The company has landed a $2.5 million, led by The Benaroya Company. In April, we reported on Point B Capital investing in the upstart, and Benaroya’s involvement to the tune of… Read More

Seahawks execs inspect new solar panels at the Qwest Field Events Center

Rain-soaked Seattle sports stadium gets solar panels

The way the rains have been hammering Seattle over the past few months, I am not sure if this technology will actually prove beneficial or not. But Qwest Field’s Event Center — located next to the home of the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders — is getting 3,750 solar panels manufactured by Solyndra in an… Read More

Bezos (Photo via Wikipedia)

Jeff Bezos goes nuclear, backs B.C. startup’s plan to create safe nuclear power

What is it with Seattle area billionaires and their love of nuclear power? Earlier this week, Microsoft co-founder touted the benefits of nuclear energy in a talk in New York, promoting his investment in Bellevue-based TerraPower. Now, word comes that founder Jeff Bezos is backing General Fusion, a Burnaby, British Columbia company developing nuclear… Read More


The urban dwelling of the future, built like a Lego set

The future of urban dwellings may be making its debut in a SoDo warehouse today. The Seattle architecture firm of CollinsWoerman is showing off a prefabricated component-based concrete and steel building system, which utilizes patent-pending technology to construct apartments, condos, hotels and university housing units in about half the time of normal construction. Unlike most… Read More

community power

Looking to make Seattle buildings efficient, Mayor McGinn launches Community Power Works program

Mayor Mike McGinn today kicked off his support of the Community Power Works program, an effort to create “green jobs” and make residences and businesses in the Seattle area more energy-efficient. Mayor McGinn made the announcement earlier today in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood. The technology behind the program is being developed by EnergySavvy, a Seattle startup… Read More


Microsoft shifts Hohm away from homes, focuses on electric cars

Microsoft unveiled the Hohm service in order to help home owners get a better sense of their energy consumption. But nearly two years after the launch, the concept appears to be moving from the home to the driveway. Faced with slow adoption by utilities and consumers, Microsoft’s chief environmental strategist Rob Bernard said this week that… Read More


Smart-grid software company Calico Energy raises cash from Point B

Calico Energy Services, a Bellevue software company whose technologies are used to help residential and business customers reduce energy costs, has secured an undisclosed investment from Point B Capital. Calico, which was recently named one of the smart-grid companies to watch in 2011, helps customers plan and integrate energy-efficient solutions. That includes rate modeling, pricing… Read More