We just watched the winners of this year’s California Cleantech Open accept their awards. Perhaps the best indicator of the importance of this competition is the success of last year’s recipients — solar startup GreenVolts, for example, said this evening that it’s raised $10 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Greenlight Energy Resources, and included Avista and other investors.
The San Francisco-based company took home a prize last year in the renewables category; this year, it accepted an alumni award for making the most progress in the past 12 months in terms of investments or customer wins. Since last year’s award, GreenVolts has been signing utility customer deals to build its concentrated photovoltaic solar systems, including a demonstration solar power plant for Pacific Northwest utility Avista and a 2-megawatt facility in a deal with PG&E (PCG). The company also hired 17 more employees over the year, bringing its total to 20, and is still looking to hire more.
GreenVolts’ technology uses dishes that track the sun, harnessing its rays and concentrating them onto small but efficient solar cells. The company says its solar systems require less land and produces twice the energy of traditional solar panels.