Seattle renewable energy company plans $200M wind farm off Oregon Coast

Winds coming off the Pacific Coast could soon provide energy to Americans thanks to a Seattle company. Principle Power, a renewable energy technology developer headquartered in the Pioneer Square neighborhood, received a go-ahead from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to submit a formal proposal to use 15 square miles of federal waters off the Oregon Coast… Read More


Microsoft one step closer to fuel cell-powered server racks

Last year, Microsoft released a paper that explored the feasability of powering servers with rack-mounted fuel cells to increase the efficiency of its clean energy systems. The company found that powering a server directly could save costs and energy by cutting out expensive power conditioning equipment. Now, it’s one step closer to becoming reality. A… Read More


Optimum Energy heats up with $12.2M to intelligently adjust temperature settings in buildings

Optimum Energy, a Seattle startup whose software intelligently adjusts a building’s temperature in order to reduce energy consumption, has scored $12.2 million in fresh financing from new investor Navitas Capital and existing investor Columbia Pacific Advisors, GeekWire has learned. The company says it has been experiencing “torrid” growth, with the software now used to manage heating… Read More


Take a look inside Earth’s ‘greenest building’

It is being called the “greenest building” on the planet. And it’s located right here in Seattle. Welcome to the Bullitt Center, a new six-story, 50,000-square-foot building in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood that is designed to produce more energy than it consumes. Or, as the developer describes it, the building essentially works as its own… Read More


Bill Gates invests in energy storage again, this time with battery maker Aquion

In the past few years, Bill Gates has already invested in three energy storage companies — MIT spinout Metal Battery (renamed Ambri), Berkeley-based LightSail Energy and Bellevue-based TerraPower. Now, the Microsoft co-founder is putting his money to a fourth. Pennsylvania-based Battery maker Aquion Energy announced a $35 million funding round today that includes Gates as a new investor. The amount Gates… Read More


Northwest Energy Angels invest record $4.7 Million in 2012

Despite decreasing overall venture capital investments in cleantech worldwide, Northwest Energy Angels announced today that its members invested $4,696,500 in 15 clean technology companies in 2012— eight new and seven follow-on investments — marking the single biggest investment year since NWEA was founded back in 2006. That’s a big increase from the $1.3 million the group invested for all… Read More


TerraPower nuclear engineer emerges at stealthy energy startup SuperCritical Technologies

Chal Davidson, the former lead engineer at TerraPower, the nuclear reactor startup backed by Intellectual Ventures and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has emerged at the helm of a new startup company by the name of SuperCritical Technologies. According to a description on Davidson’s LinkedIn page, SuperCritical is setting out to build modular, compact power plants… Read More

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Battery breakthrough: New technology promises to triple lithium ion capacity

Remember those Energizer Bunny commercials touting batteries that kept going, and going, and going? Well, researchers at Washington State University have developed a new lithium ion battery that can actually keep going, and going, and going at about three times the current capacity. As part of the Science + Technology Discovery Series of the Technology Alliance Program,… Read More


Renewable fuel startup spins out from Targeted Growth with investment from Avista

Matrix Genetics has received an undisclosed investment from Avista Development, the venture capital arm of Spokane utility Avista Corp. The money will be used to complete a spin off from Targeted Growth, a Seattle agricultural sciences company whose technologies are used to increase crop yields. Matrix Genetics is developing technologies to produce renewable fuels and… Read More


Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen bankrolls Siluria in ambitious attempt to find an oil alternative

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital is co-leading a $30 million investment in Siluria Technologies, a San Francisco company that’s developing methods to convert natural gas into plastics, chemicals and transportation fuels. Siluria uses methane, which is the key component of natural gas and the world’s most abundant hydrocarbon, in a conversion process that includes advanced nanotechnology,… Read More


MIT spinout Liquid Metal Battery lands $15M from Bill Gates, others

Liquid Metal Battery Corporation, an MIT spin out that’s developing new technologies for electricity storage, has raised $15 million in funding from Khosla Ventures, Total and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. The technology behind the company was developed by Dr. Donald Sadoway, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was recently named one of Time Magazine’s… Read More


Seattle geeks win Apps for Energy challenge with Leafully

Sometimes it can be tough to put one’s energy consumption into perspective. But what if you broke everything down into something that everyone understands: trees. That’s the idea behind Leafully, a startup project from Seattle software developers Nathan Jhaveri and Tim Edgar. The duo just took home the top prize, worth $30,000, in the U.S…. Read More


Bill Gates: ‘Cheap energy is like a fantastic vaccine’

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is back in the news, talking about the importance of nuclear power. And while the software titan is bullish on the energy source, it will likely be another decade until we see a nuclear reactor from the Bellevue company he’s backing alongside Intellectual Ventures founder Nathan Myhrvold. Speaking at at The Wall… Read More

Solar Shelter, single shelter

Coming to Seattle: Picnic shelters with solar panels

OK, you can insert whatever Seattle rain joke that you’d like on this one. But during a week that the rains just never have seemed to let up, here’s a reminder that the bright, yellow orb in the sky does make an appearance once in a while here in the soggy Northwest. Seattle City Light… Read More


‘Olympus’ supercomputer targets energy breakthroughs, with help from some water

The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., now has its own supercomputer, named Olympus, after the tallest mountain in Washington state’s Olympic range. The supercomputer has a peak speed of 162 teraflops — providing about as much computing capacity as 20,000 personal computers combined. One unique feature: A water cooling system… Read More


San Francisco taps EnergySavvy to help homeowners cut through the fog of energy bills

EnergySavvy is marching into the Bay Area, inking a deal with the City of San Francisco to help homeowners reduce energy costs through specialized online home audits. The program will allow residents to compare their energy usage to other homes across the city, and receive information on energy rebates and contractors. It’s also designed to… Read More


Microsoft closing down Hohm energy management service

Attention, startups: The home-energy management market just got a lot less competitive — for anyone who can figure out a viable business, at least. Microsoft today announced that it will be suspending its Hohm energy monitoring service, a free online tool that helps people monitor and manage their home power consumption, saying that it hasn’t seen… Read More


Bill Gates touts nuclear energy, says coal kills more people

Nuclear energy can be made safe in part through advanced computer simulation and next-generation power plant designs, according to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. The software billionaire, an investor in Bellevue’s TerraPower, touted the benefits of nuclear energy today at the Wired Business Conference: Disruptive by Design in New York. In a talk titled “A Tour of… 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