Efficient Power Plant Tech Grabs VC Dollars

advancedpowerdevice.jpgSome of the most important cleantech innovations can be created by tweaking traditional carbon-emitting sources to make them more efficient. Startup Advanced Power Projects is doing just that with traditional power plants, and has raised a Series A round of funding from Sequoia Capital, Redpoint and Bay Partners. Advanced Power Project CEO Pete Cartwright tells us that the round was a little over $10 million.

The company’s technology, called the “Simplified Combined Cycle,” captures wasted heat expended by gas turbines used in power plants, and injects the heat back into the process, thereby making the system more efficient. Power plant owners can use the tech to generate more power at a lower cost, while also reducing greenhouse gases. Cartwright tells us that a gas turbine power plant using its tech can deliver 30 percent to 40 percent more power.

Cartwright, the former CEO of power company Calpine, founded the company two years ago with entrepreneur Tom Mason, and the technology was developed by Dah Yu Cheng. Cartwright says the company incorporated just this month and will use the funds to start selling the product to both traditional power plant owners, and owners of plants that are using renewable energy, like wind and solar.

This is one of just a few select cleantech investments from Sequoia. And fitting with Sequoia’s plan to invest in green companies that already have a product ready to sell, Cartwright tells us that Advanced Power Project is talking to 30 customers — from large regulated utilities to independent power companies to industrial companies that generate their own power — about upgrading to their tech.

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