Solar + storage ftw

Plus lots more across climate tech and energy

Hi all,

Fun weekend around town here in Brooklyn and lots in store for you here, as always, in this email, ranging from rapidly accelerating (and encouraging data) on how battery energy storage is shifting grid dynamics in California, a variety of new funding news for solar plus storage projects across the world, and more.

In today’s email:

  • One story in a chart and a sentence

  • Climate tech and energy headlines from the week

  • Climate tech fundraising announcements


A month ago, we announced Camp Keep Cool, a three-day retreat for climate and energy entrepreneurs, founders, CEOs, and operators that will take place in the heart of the Rocky Mountain Wilderness. Since, we’ve been thrilled by the enthusiastic reception from you all and the exceptional group of folks who have already committed to joining us. If you’d like to join, we still have a few spots left at early bird pricing. To learn more, reply to this email or apply to join.

Want to sponsor Keep Cool? Click here.


One story in a sentence (and a chart)

• Hello from the solar & storage future: The addition of more than 10 GW of battery energy storage has proved a massive unlock to reduce the amount of natural gas California uses for electricity production. Link.

15 headlines

• Ministers from the Group 7 nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S.) agreed to shutter all coal power plants by 2035. Ideally, that puts pressure on countries like China, India, Indonesia, and South Africa to follow suit, as those are much larger coal consumers. Link.

• This week, the White House unveiled final permitting reform proposals to accelerate clean energy infrastructure projects. These proposals include more categorical exclusions (exempting specific projects from environmental reviews), revised deadlines and page limits for environmental studies, and "programmatic" analyses designed to reduce the overall need for studies for any given project. Link.

• Tesla won a $650M contract to build the largest battery energy storage system in Australia (560 MW & 2,240 MWh) and one of the largest such systems in the world. The plant is already under construction, with a total price tag of ~$1.1B. Link.

• In less rosy Teslarati news, the company put out a bit of a shocker this week by laying off its supercharging division. Tesla is a crucial charging leader, with 9x more fast-charging ports in the U.S. than the next nine companies combined; these layoffs are concerning as they call into question who now will lead charging deployment in the U.S. The company also plans to raise more money after a loss-making first quarter and is conducting more layoffs across other divisions. Link. Link. Link. Link

• Circa one month after opening, Xiaomi's EV factory has already churned out 10,000 cars. Link.

• Rivian received $827M in grant funding from the State of Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity to expand its new production facility in Normal, Illinois. Link.

• Brookfield Asset Management announced it will work with Microsoft to develop 10.5 GW of renewable energy between 2026 and 2030 to meet Microsoft's growing power demand. This deal is about 8x larger than any other corporate PPA in history. Link (paywall).

• Natron Energy is opening what it claims is the first full-scale plant for sodium-ion batteries in the U.S. The first shipments from the Michigan plant are scheduled for June. Link

• CenterPoint Energy, the transmission and distribution utility for Houston, plans to invest $2B between 2025 and 2027 to bolster its infrastructure against extreme weather, underscoring rising costs of adapting to climate change, let alone addressing its drivers. Link.

• The fourth nuclear reactor unit at Plant Vogtle in Georgia (finally) entered commercial operation after numerous delays and cost overruns. The plant is now the single largest clean energy generation station in the U.S. Link.

• Frontier, the advanced market committee for carbon removal, inked a $58M agreement with Vaulted Deep, a startup that collects waste organic material and sequesters it underground. This is Frontier's biggest deal to date. Link.

• The DOE's Loan Programs Office announced its first conditional commitment under the Tribal Energy Financing Program, consisting of a loan guarantee of up to $72.8M to develop a solar-plus-long-duration energy storage microgrid (15 MW solar + 38 MWh battery energy storage system) on the Tribal lands of the Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indians near Alpine, California. Link.

• In keeping with our methane misestimations beat from the past few weeks, major emitters in Australia also now may have downplayed their methane emissions significantly. Satellite observations paired with more recent atmospheric studies suggest Australia's methane emissions may be twice as high as reported. Gas flaring in the Permian is also on the rise as cheap prices drive concern about a supply glut. The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC), the state's oil and natural gas industry regulator, approved 21 exemptions for operators to flare more gas last week alone. Link. Link

• Worryingly, heat pump sales in the U.S. were actually down 16% in 2023 from 2022. U.S. electricity generation from wind also fell in 2023 from 2022 levels, despite 6 GW of added capacity, owing to lower wind speeds. Link. Link.

• Severe heat waves are roiling India and southeast Asia earlier than usual, killing dozens. Link.


Larger funding rounds

🔋 Pine Gate Renewables, based out of Asheville, NC, raised $650M in equity funding to develop large-scale solar and energy storage projects. Generate Capital led. The capital infusion could contribute to the construction of up to 3 GW of projects by 2025. More here. (U.S., Energy)

☂️ Arbol, based out of New York, raised $60M in Series B funding to offer parametric insurance products (i.e., ones that pay out based on specific weather conditions and events) and other financial risk management products. Giant Ventures and Opera Tech Ventures led. More here. (U.S., Finance / Insurance)

🔎 AiDash, based out of San Jose, CA, raised $58.5M in Series C funding to make software for utilities to manage their infrastructure assets and monitor for risks. Lightrock led. More here. (U.S., Data Applications)

Medium-sized funding rounds

💦 Stargate Hydrogen, based out of Tallinn, Estonia, raised ~$44M in seed funding to make electrolyzers for green hydrogen. UG Investments led. More here. (Estonia, Industry)

🔋 LiNova Energy, based out of Monrovia, CA, raised $15.8M in Series A funding to make polymer cathodes for batteries. Catalus Capital led. More here. (U.S., Industry) 

📊 Carbonfact, based out of Paris, raised $15M in Series A funding to build an emissions-tracking service for the fashion industry. Alven led. More here. (France, Industry)

Smaller funding rounds

🛥️ X Shore, based out of Nyköping, Sweden, raised $9.1M in equity funding to make electric boats. The company’s founder, Konrad Bergström, participated. More here. (Sweden, Transportation)

💧 Xefco, based out of Sydney, Australia, raised ~$6.9M in a seed extension to use plasma to create a more efficient and water-free solution for textile dyeing and finishing. Main Sequence led. More here. (Australia, Industry)

🐟 Shinkei Systems, based out of El Segundo, CA, raised $6M in seed funding to make more efficient fish-processing tech. Cantos led. More here. (U.S., Food & Agriculture)

🧪 Caladan Bio, based out of New York, raised $5M in seed funding to streamline experimentation in synthetic biology. Twelve Below led. More here. (U.S., Synthetic Biology)

🧱 alterβiota, based out of Edwardsville, Canada, raised $4M in seed funding led by Invest Nova Scotia and BDC Capital to decarbonize concrete. More here. (Canada, Built Environment)

💦 NovaMea, based out of Saint-Sulpice, Canada, raised $3.2M in seed funding to make advanced membranes and catalysts for electrolysis and green hydrogen. Lightspeed Venture Partners led. More here. (Canada, Industry)

🌱 Smartbreeder, based out of Piracicaba, Brazil, raised $2.9M in equity funding from EcoEnterprises Fund to help ag companies increase yields and efficiency via, you guessed it, ‘smart’ breeding. More here. (Brazil, Food & Agriculture)

♻️ Kubik, based out of Nairobi, Ethiopia, raised $1.9M in equity funding to turn plastic waste into building materials. African Renaissance Partners, Endgame Capital, and King Philanthropies invested. More here. (Ethiopia, Built Environment)

🗑️ Galatea Technologies, based out of Calgary, raised ~$2M in extended seed funding for its waste management logistics software built for the oil and gas industry. Staircase Ventures, Ascent Energy Ventures, and the Natural Gas Innovation Fund invested. More here. (Canada, Industry)

🍄 Maia Farms, based out of Vancouver, raised ~$1.7M in pre-seed funding to make protein with mycelium. Joyful Ventures led. More here. (Canada, Food & Agriculture)

🦠 CroBio, based out of Macclesfield, U.K., raised ~$1.6M in seed funding to develop microbes that bolster soil's water retention capabilities of soil to make crops more resilient. The Grantham Foundation led. More here. (U.K., Food & Agriculture)

♨️ Nusku, based out of Bristol, U.K., raised ~$1.25M in seed and grant funding to make heat pumps. The British government led with grant funding. More here. (U.K., Built Environment)

🦠 Jooules, based out of Wellington, New Zealand, raised ~$600k in pre-seed funding to use gaseous fermentation and microbe strains to turn CO2 into protein. Sprout Agritech LP led. More here. (New Zealand, Food & Agriculture)

⛏️ Pure Lithium, based out of Boston, raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding on top of the $15M it has already raised to develop its lithium extraction technology. Ivanhoe Capital and Wilson Sonsini's WS Investment invested. More here. (U.S., Industry)

Other funding rounds

🌞🔋energyRe, based out of Charleston, SC, raised $240M in tax equity and debt financing to develop a 108MW/198MWh solar-plus-storage project in South Carolina. More here. (U.S., Energy)

🌞🔋 Akaysha Energy, based out of Cremorne, Australia, raised ~$165M in debt financing to build more than 700MWh of new battery energy storage in Australia. More here. (Australia, Energy)


Take care of yourselves out there,

– Nick