Friday, September 24, 2010

Hedge Your Bets: "GlassPoint Solar Gathers $3.5M Series A For Oil Extraction System"

From Venture Wire:
Quickly moving from research and development to volume manufacturing and a venture round, GlassPoint Solar Inc. is gearing up for orders from oil companies for its concentrated-solar-based systems that help extract oil from depleted fields.

The Fremont, Calif.-based company has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding led by Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, whose limited partners include Total SA, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Kuwait Petroleum. Other investors included TJ Cross Engineers Inc., an engineering firm that works with oil companies.
"We're doing the deal with Chrysalix more for strategic than for funding reasons," said Rod MacGregor, GlassPoint's president and chief executive. MacGregor is a serial entrepreneur who has founded several venture-backed companies including Insignia Solutions Ltd.

Launched two years ago, GlassPoint developed a system that produces steam using solar heat. The system is specifically designed to be used on oilfields, where it's injected under the ground, making the oil flow more easily in a process called enhanced oil recovery. Currently the steam that's produced for this purpose is typically generated by burning natural gas.

GlassPoint intends to sell to oil companies its equipment that is being manufactured to its designs in China by outsourced producers. The manufacturing capability is already at volume production, according to MacGregor. The company is also running a demonstration system in China and plans to use the new funds to create a new demo in Bakersfield, Calif., to showcase to customers.

The CEO said the company's systems at their current prices produce power at a cheaper price than by burning natural gas, or at about $2 to $3 per million BTU, compared to the current price of natural gas of around $4 per million BTU....MORE
HT: Venture Capital Dispatch