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Nth Power's Nancy Floyd: Green Tech Needs Obama

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When we compiled our list of cleantech investors who are backing Barack Obama, Nancy Floyd, an early investor who founded Nth Power, was the lone woman in the group — in May she gave $2,300, which is the max donation for the general election. But she gave a whole lot more at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, when she delivered a speech in which she whole-heartedly endorsed Obama’s energy plan.

Floyd called Obama’s energy plan “comprehensive,” and said it will “get us off of foreign oil, stop global warming, and create millions of new jobs in the United States.” She highlighted Obama’s goals to cut taxes for fuel-efficient car buyers, keep green car manufacturing jobs in the U.S., and make major investments in cleantech, which could lead to 5 million new jobs over 10 years. She said that “investors are lining up” to back entrepreneurs, and what’s missing is leadership from Washington.

We can’t afford another 30 years of partisanship and inaction. We need new thinking and new leadership. We need Barack Obama as president of the United States… (according to the remarks prepared for delivery)

Floyd is an influential judge of all things energy. She is one of the original energy venture capitalists, and the firm she founded started making investments all the way back in the late ’90s. With $420 million between four funds, the group has backed the now-public Silicon Energy (ITRI), Northern Power (DESC), and Comverge (COMV), and is currently invested in startups Imperium Renewables, Terrapass and Tioga Energy. (Updated: Silicon Energy is currently listed as “surrendered” with the California Secretary of State; Northern Power’s parent company, Distributed Energy Systems, filed for bankruptcy in June). While cleantech investors are backing Obama more than 6 to 1 compared to McCain, Floyd’s endorsement means that the old-school energy investors have validated Obama’s plan.

2 Responses to “Nth Power's Nancy Floyd: Green Tech Needs Obama”

  1. Rodrigo Prudencio

    Katie…a few clarifications on your post and Nth Power’s past investments.

    1) Silicon Energy was never publicly traded. It was acquired by the largest advanced metering and energy intelligence business; Itron. Itron is publicly traded: ITRI. The fact that it was acquired explains the “surrendered” status of the original corporation.

    2) Northern Power was also an acquisition by Proton Energy Systems (later named Distributed Energy Systems). Proton itself was an early investment of Nth Power’s and was an IPO.

    3) You missed a few other important deals we’ve backed:
    a) We IPO’d and led a PIPE investment in Evergreen Solar, the first pure play solar stock;
    b) We IPO’d Capstone Turbine, the first pure play microturbine stock and early leader in distributed generation; and,
    c) We sold Nanogram Devices, a novel battery for medical devices to the worlds largest supplier of power systems to the medical device industry, Wilson Greatbatch.

    Just wanted to set the record straight and expand on some of the information in your post.