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Volume I, Issue 16 -  June 13, 2011 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú") 


Teru's Trash Talk 

The Department of Defense years ago came out with a step-wise way to measure a technology's progress from Idea to Ready for Commercialization: their "Technical Readiness Levels" or TRLs left off once the widget was off the bench. Maybe we need a similar set of steps or levels that can indicate a technology's place along the commercialization pathway. I’d call them "Commercial Readiness Levels", or CRLs.


Most well-set companies tend to have a Model A, a solid seller, well proven, does what it is supposed to. Then there's the New, Improved Model B: well, maybe a bit buggy still, but lots more bells and whistles. Then back in the Shop, there's their Future Model, the place they spend what little Research and Development money they may have.


Ah, yes … MONEY. There's in-house "Friends and Family" self-support funds, and maybe early Angel investment. Then comes the first Valley of Death, where start-ups really need Public Interest Research grants and incentives to get from bench to make and begin to sell that first Model. With luck and a lot of grit teeth, venture capital comes in next to make a young company out of that garage full of parts. Then we stumble: how to scale-up? So many companies falter at this stage, it's been called the Second Valley of Death: enough projects to keep everyone busy, but not enough cash flow to hire more help, get fabrication going, and meet the marketplace head-on. See our most recent Focus Report, for more on the subject of the Role of VC and Public Funds in Clean tech.


Hey Rube!


There are several Action Items with due dates this month, including proposals to Southwestern Electric Power Company and Southern California Edison for renewable energy. Check to see if any of them are applicable to you.


The Week's Extra Reading 


New TERU Focus Report on California PIER Venture Forum, The Roles of VC and Public Investment in Clean Technologies. The Forum was last week and Teru was there.


The Week's News


General Biodiesel Uses Controlled Cavitation to Pre-Treat Waste Cooking Oil Seattle, Washington based General Biodiesel pre-treats incoming waste cooking oil using a "Shockwave" Power Reactor (SPR) hydrodynamic cavitation system developed and manufactured by Hydro Dynamics, Inc and provided by Advanced Biofuel Solutions. 06/10/2011


NY Wood Pellet Plant Will Produce 85K Tons Annually from Clean Wood Waste New England Wood Pellet LLC (NEWP) held the grand opening of their $14.5 million wood pellet manufacturing facility in Deposit, New York. 06/10/2011  


Avantium Secures $43.5MM Funding for YXY Development

Netherlands-based biopolymer company Avantium has raised EUR 30 million (USD 43.5 million) from investors and the Dutch government to advance their pilot plant development and bioproducts commercialization. 06/10/2011


Metso Furnishes 140MWe BioGas Plant to Replace Coal at Finnish Power Facility  Metso will supply Vaskiluodon Voima Oy with a 140-megawatt bio-gasification plant for their coal-fired power plant in Vaasa, Finland. 06/10/2011


Elevance Acquires Natchez Biofuels Facility for Retrofit

Illinois-based green chemicals production company Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc. (ERSI) has acquired the Delta BioFuels facility in Natchez, Mississippi with plans to convert the facility to a biorefinery and derivatives operation. 06/10/2011


Native Energy Helps Finance Landfill Gas to Energy Project

A Wewoka, Oklahoma landfill's gas (LFG) emissions will be used to fuel a nearby brick factory, financed in part by the purchase of NativeEnergy’s Help Build™ carbon offsets by eBay, Esurance, Designtex, Ceres, Brighter Planet, and College of the Atlantic. 06/10/2011


Diamond Green Diesel Secures Funding for Louisiana Biodiesel Plant Diamond Green Diesel LLC, the joint venture project between Valero Energy Corporation and Darling International Inc., has secured funding for construction of its first biodiesel facility in Louisiana through a subsidiary of Valero Energy Corporation. 06/09/2011


University of North Dakota EERC Makes Jet Fuel from Coal + Biomass  The University of North Dakota, Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) has successfully produced paraffinic kerosene, or jet fuel, by liquefaction and refining of combined coal and biomass. 06/08/2011


SynGest Biomass to Ammonia Plant Will Use Honeywell Technology San Francisco based SynGest's proposed 400 ton per day biomass gasification to ammonia facility in Iowa will operate using Honeywell's controls, instrumentation and advanced automation through a Memorandum of Understanding between the two companies. 06/08/2011


Neste Oil Fuels Finish Tanker Trucks with 100% Biodiesel for One Year Trial  Neste Oil's NExBTL renewable diesel will be assessed in day-to-day usage in Finland by a fleet of road tanker trucks for about a year beginning this month. 06/08/2011


DOE's Waste Heat to Power Presentations Are Now Available Online The US Department of Energy's (DOE) Pacific Clean Energy Application Center ( PCEAC ) staged a webinar May 25, 2011 addressing recovery of waste industrial heat for generation of electricity, and have now posted the detailed and instructive presentations by UC Irvine's Combustion Lab guru, Vincent McDonell, and by Tom Tillman, TAS Energy, Houston, Texas. 06/07/2011


Biofuels Center of NC Awards $1.6MM Statewide in Biofuels Grants

The Biofuels Center of North Carolina (NC) released an awards list of biofuels development grants totaling about $1.6 million for 15 projects state-wide. 06/07/2011


University of Montana OKs $16MM Nexterra Gasification Plant for CHP The Board of Regents of the University of Montana approved the $16 million installation of a Nexterra biomass gasification plant for combined heat and power (CHP) for their Missoula campus. 06/07/2011


Gwinnett County Biogas Plant Now Generating Power from Waste

The F. Wayne Hill Water Resources wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Gwinnett County, Georgia is now generating electricity from biomethane that previously had been flared as waste. 06/06/2011


California's RPS Target Increases to 33% for All Utilities

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a notice that the agency intends to start implementation of Senate Bill X1 2 (Simitian, Chapter 1, Statutes of 2011, First Extraordinary Session). 06/06/2011


Toronto Zoo to Fund "Zoo Poo" to Biogas Plant with RRSP Bonds

The Toronto Zoo in Ontario, Canada and community partners have formed the ZooShare Biogas Co-operative, offering Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) bonds to community individuals to build and operate a 500 kilowatt anaerobic digestion (AD) biogas plant. 06/06/2011


The Week's Action Items


Due 07/01/2011: Comments to CEC Docket on 33% RPS Target

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is seeking public comment on the recent passage and up-coming implementation of legislation increasing California's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) renewable energy target to 33% for all utilities by 2020. 06/09/2011


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