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World's biggest blast furnace overhaul

Plus lots more across climate tech and energy

Hi folx,

Quiter week on the fundraising front. No shortage of stuff to get excited about, however. Whether the world’s biggest blast furnace overhaul, the world’s largest compressed air energy storage system, or significant climate adaptive measures get you most excited, well, read on.

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 MESSAGE FROM GLASSDOME

A manufacturing renaissance is happening across the U.S. and Europe. Companies are investing more in domestic production capacity than they have in decades, with decarbonization as a significant driver. 

Why it’s important: Manufacturers who arm themselves with enough intelligence and data to build sustainably and reduce emissions will have significant competitive advantages.

Want to sponsor Keep Cool? Click here.

THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE TECH & ENERGY

One story in a sentence (and a chart)

Greece announced it will invest more than $2B in climate adaptation measures, especially focused on wildfire, which has rocked the country in recent years. Link. Link.

14 headlines

• SSAB, the Swedish steel giant, is undertaking a massive blast furnace overhaul to transition to electric arc furnaces at its Luleå mill. The project could reduce the entire country of Sweden's carbon dioxide emissions by 7% (!). Link.

• CATL, the world's largest battery manufacturer based out of China, announced a new EV battery pack with a 1.5M (!) km, 15-year warranty. Link.

• Global EV sales were 21% higher in Q1 2024 than Q1 2023, despite many media narratives to the contrary. Granted, China drove a lot of that; sales in the U.S. and Europe were lower. At the same time, new reporting out of China this week revealed that 1 in 5 Chinese EV buyers would prefer to switch back to an ICE for their next car purchase, raising some industry concerns. Link. Link.

• The world's largest compressed air energy storage system came online this week in China, with 300MW/1,500MWh capacity. 'Hubei Yingchang' was built in two years and cost about $270M. Link.

• Britain's longest HVDC transmission line received approval this week; Eastern Green Link 2 will become a 500+ kilometer subsea connection between Scotland and England. The project is a joint venture between SSEN Transmission and National Grid Electricity Transmission. Link.

• Fortera opened a first-of-its-kind industrial green cement and carbon mineralization facility in Redding, California. The plant captures carbon dioxide emitted during cement production and mineralizes it back into the cement, reducing carbon emissions by 70%. At capacity, the plant will capture 6,600 tons of CO2 and produce 15,000 tons of low-carbon cement annually. Link.

• Washington state's new budget includes $25M for the development of small modular nuclear reactors. Link

• The EPA issued new rules setting limited (near-zero) allowable levels on six perfluoroalkyls and polyfluoroalkyls — PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals” — in U.S. drinking water. Link.

• Zurich Insurance Group noted this week it will no longer underwrite new oil and gas projects. It's also assessing whether and how to phase out underwriting for coal mining. Link.

• The state of New York is suing JBS, the world's largest meatpacker, 's U.S.-based business for misleading claims around the emissions footprint and sustainability of its products. Link.

• The U.S. increased oil and gas royalties on federal lands for the first time in over a century, hiking the royalty rate to 16.7% from 12.5%. Most U.S. oil production is not on federal lands; rates on state and private lands are set independently from rates on federal lands. Ever-toeing the line on oil production, the Biden Admin did also approve a new license for a huge new deepwater oil export facility in Texas. Link. Link.

• Norfolk Southern reached an agreement in principle to settle a class-action lawsuit over its East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment last year for $600M, a pittance, really all things considered. Link.

• While also a leader in renewable energy and transmission deployment, China accounted for 95% of new coal plant construction in 2023. There are two ways to read that. On the one hand, the world can't afford—environmentally—any new coal plant construction. On the other hand, the fact that almost all plant construction is concentrated in one geography makes a future phase-out more tenable. Link.

• Bogotà is rationing water for its 9M residents as drought conditions advance across Colombia alongside other countries like Mexico and South Africa globally. Link.

CURATED DEALS

Larger funding rounds

🌞 Nexamp, based out of New York, raised $520M in equity funding for its community solar development and operations company. Manulife Investment Management led. More here. (U.S., Energy)

⚡️💦 HysetCo, based out of Paris, raised ~$217M in equity funding to build hydrogen refueling stations and expand its hydrogen fleet management and rental services. Hy24 led. More here. (France,

🚚 Platform Science, based out of San Diego, raised $125M in growth equity funding to help trucking companies manage their fleets more efficiently with software. 8VC, NewRoad Capital Partners, Prologis Ventures, and others invested. More here. (U.S., Transportation)

Medium-sized funding rounds

⚡️ Arcadia, based out of Greenwood Village, CO, raised $50M in new equity funding to grow its community solar programs and to explore building new products built off of its energy market data. Macquarie Asset Management joined existing investors in the round. More here. (U.S., Energy)

⬇️ Windfall Bio, based out of Menlo Park, CA, raised $28M in Series A funding for its methane mitigation technologies that use methanotrophs to transform methane into valuable products. Prelude Ventures led. More here, plus listen to our podcast from earlier this year with CEO Josh Silverman here. (U.S., Food & Agriculture)

📦 CleanFiber, based out of Buffalo, NY, raised $28M in Series B funding to up-cycle cardboard boxes into insulation. Spring Lane led. More here. (U.S., Materials)

⚡️ Apricus Generation, based out of Boca Raton, FL, raised $28M in Series A funding to build a new distributed solar and battery energy storage IPP business. More here. (U.S., Energy)

⚛️ Proxima Fusion, based out of Munich, raised ~$21.7M in seed funding to build a stellarator fusion power plant. Redalpine led. More here. (Germany, Energy)

🧪 Liberation Labs, based out of New York, raised $12.5M in pre-Series A funding to build facilities for precision fermentation. Agronomics led. More here. (U.S., Food & Agriculture)

Smaller funding rounds

☂️ Weenat, based out of Nantes, France, raised ~$9M in equity funding to provide farmers with enhanced weather data. ECBF, Pymwymic, Liberset, and others invested. More here. (France, Food & Agriculture)

🔋 Carrar, based out of Sderot, Israel, raised $5.3M in Series A funding to develop advanced cooling systems to keep EV batteries at their optimal temperature. Salida B.V., OurCrowd, NextGear, and others invested. More here. (Israel, Transportation)

🥩 Völur, based out of Oslo, raised $2.8M in equity funding to make software to drive more sustainable outcomes in the meat industry (their tagline is literally ‘more value from each carcass’). Serra Ventures and York IE led. More here. (Norway, Food & Agriculture)

🔌 AutoNxt Automation, based out of Bhiwandi, India, raised an undisclosed amount in pre-Series A funding for its high-voltage electric powertrains. Saama Capital led. More here. (India, Transportation)

Other funding rounds

🌞 Zolar, based out of Berlin, raised ~$106M in asset-backed debt financing for its residential solar business. More here. (Germany, Energy)

⚡️💦 Bloom Energy, based out of San Jose, CA, raised $75M 48C tax credits for its Fremont, CA-based fuel cell factory. More here. (U.S., Industry)

⛏️ Nth Cycle, based out of Boston, raised $7.2M in 48C tax credits for its metal recycling and refining business. More here. (U.S., Industry)

Ciao,

– Nick