The Washington Cleantech Cluster: The A-to-Z List of Alternative Energy Players

3/3/09Follow @xconomy

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Avion Car Company (Bellingham, WA). This company developed a 100 mile-a-gallon sports car more than two decades ago, but found the market had no interest at that time. Now it’s coming back for a limited production run.

AXI (Seattle). The company has its origins in research by UW biologist Rose Ann Cattolico. It aims to make commercially feasible strains of algae for fuel production.

Baard Energy (Vancouver, WA). This company develops, builds, and operates alternative energy facilities for ethanol, biopolygen, biomass to liquids, and coal biomass to liquids.

Battelle Pacific Northwest Division (Richland, WA). This federally-funded national lab is a regional powerhouse of energy research with 4,200 employees and an $850 million annual budget.

Bio Algene (Seattle area). This stealthy company is working on algae-based biofuels. It says it has three prototype operating sites in Washington, and grants from the Department of Energy, although its website doesn’t say who runs the company or where its sites are.

Bio Architecture Lab (Seattle). This company spun out of the University of Washington lab of David Baker, and aims to make computer-designed enzymes to make specialty chemicals from renewable sources instead of the usual petrochemicals. It raised $1.5 million from XSeed Capital in March. (Updated: An earlier version of this item said the company raised money from Mohr Davidow Ventures, citing data from VentureDeal. The money actually came from XSeed Capital, which is loosely related to Mohr Davidow, says CEO Nikesh Parekh. He added some specifics to the company’s plans, saying it is designing enzymes to help engineer microbes that convert novel biomass sources into biofuels and specialty chemicals, which cost half as much as products made from Brazilian sugarcane, currently the cheapest source of sugar in the world.)

BioGas Energy (Seattle). The company makes anaerobic digesters that convert manure from farm animals into methane gas for fuel.

Bionavitas (Redmond). This biofuels company we profiled recently has emerged from stealth mode, explaining that it is developing a way to deliver light in a more efficient way so that algae can grow in three feet of water, instead of 3-5 centimeters, thereby boosting energy yields.

Blue Marble Energy (Seattle). This company aims to turn algae and other cellulosic biomass into bio-chemicals and natural gas. Newly minted U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke serves as an adviser.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The Seattle-based division of the aerospace giant is investigating how to make algae into a renewable source of jet fuel. Billy Glover spearheads the effort as managing director of environmental strategy, and he has also gotten involved in the Washington Clean Technology Alliance, as well as a movement to establish new energy research centers of excellence around the country, as I described in this story.

Cascadia Capital (Seattle). Led by CEO Michael Butler (an Xconomist), this investment bank aims to find promising cleantech deals in the Northwest and help coordinate a regional strategy to support the industry, as Greg described last month in this feature story.

Catchlight Energy (Federal Way, WA). This joint venture of Weyerhaeuser and Chevron was formed in April 2007 to develop technology to convert cellulose-based biomass into low-carbon biofuels.

Clean Power Research (Kirkland and Napa, CA). This company writes software for solar power and other clean energy industries, as Rachel Tompa described for Xconomy in this feature story in January.

Climate Solutions (Olympia, WA). This nonprofit organization, with offices in Seattle, Olympia, and Portland, OR, aims to fight global warming. (It is a sponsor of Xconomy’s March 26 cleantech event at K&L Gates.)

Columbia Energy Partners (Vancouver, WA). This company develops wind power, and is constructing what it calls a 2 Megawatt solar power generation facility from conventional photovoltaics. It’s the largest solar project in Oregon, based near Arlington, the company says.

Commuter Cars (Spokane). This company makes the Tango, an electric car for commuting that it says has an 80-mile range.

EnerG2 (Seattle). This UW spinout company is developing novel materials to help make it more efficient to store energy from hydrogen, solar cells, and even make “ultracapacitors.” Greg broke the story in November that this company raised $8.5 million from OVP Venture Partners and Firelake Capital Management.

Environmental Energy & Engineering (Olympia, WA). This company, known as E3, has done research and development for the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. It has anaerobic digestion technology to convert manure from farm animals to biogas.

Flower Power (Auburn, WA). This company makes biodiesel fuels from sunflower oil.

Frybrid (Seattle). This company, which has a quirky website that traces the history of diesel to 1673, makes equipment to convert diesel engines to run on vegetable oil.

General Biodiesel (Seattle). This company aims to turn waste cooking oil and animal fat into feedstock for biodiesel.

Genesis Fueltech (Spokane). This company aims to commercialize hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Gen-X Energy (Burbank, WA). This Tri-Cities-area company aims to produce biodiesel. It said it planned to get animal oils from a nearby Tyson Foods rendering plant in this statement.

Global Smart Energy (Redmond). This is the consulting firm led by Xconomist Jesse Berst that provides market research into the energy business and “electricity economy.”
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