Harvest Power is raising $110 million from investors including Al Gore’s fund, venture firm Kleiner Perkins and a fund led by First Solar interim CEO Michael Ahearn to build out its facilities that turn organic waste into fertilizer and energy. Harvest Power builds and operates plants that use composting and anaerobic digestion technology to breakdown food scraps and yard clippings, and the technology not only produces fertilizers, but also biogas that can be used to produce electricity or be processed into compressed natural gas for transportation fuel.
The round was led by True North Venture Partners, the $300 million fund started by Ahearn and Ahearn will join the Board of Directors of Harvest Power. True North Venture Partners officially launched Summer of 2011 and this is one of the first investments I’ve heard coming from them. Oil refinery firm American Refining and DAG Ventures also participated in the round.
Trash giant Waste Management was a previous investor, but isn’t named in this round on the release. Back in January 2010 Harvest Power also announced a deal with Waste Management to access organic waste (feedstock for its recycling processes) from Waste Management’s operations across the U.S. and Canada, but I’m also not sure on the status of that deal. I’ll update this when I know more.
Founded in 2008, Harvest Power says it’s sold “millions of bags” of organic soils and mulches in 2011 and is in the process of building “two of the largest foodwaste to energy facilities in North America.” The company plans to complete construction of those plants this year, and has been operating seven other smaller sites.
Harvest Power previously raised $51 million about a year ago, putting its total funding raised to over $160 million. The company used part of that money to add recycling technologies, such as a high-temperature process to create synthesis gas. Syngas can be used to produce electricity, transportation fuels and other chemical products.
While Harvest Power Harvest is developing its own technology, it also makes use of others’ know-how. The company previously teamed up with Germany’s GICON Bioenergie to engineer and build processing plants using GICON’s anaerobic digestion technology.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the company — which makes money by selling fertilizer and power, as well as charging waste pick-up fees — generated less than $50 million in revenue in 2011, and expects to generate between $75 million and $100 million this year.