About: Blackstone Cleantech Venture Partners (BCVP) focuses on investing in established and emerging private companies that have a “green” technology component, at a stage where technology risk is expected to be limited and capital needs are increasing. Based in New York.
James D. Kiggen, Senior Managing Director
Walter C. Vester, Principal
Richard L. Troyer, Principal
News: Not much information about the portfolio or the firm on its website and no details were given on the size of the group’s investment capital. In Aug 2008, the Blackstone Group announced the establishment of a new business group that will be focused on investments in the cleantech energy sector and will also provide advice on renewable energy strategies across Blackstone’s diverse asset base. The team is being led by James D. Kiggen, who has joined the firm’s Corporate Private Equity group as a Senior Managing Director. Prior to joining Blackstone, Mr. Kiggen was a Senior Vice President at AllianceBernstein L.P where he created and managed a research team focused on emerging sciences and technologies. He extended that research effort into building a latestage venture capital/growth equity business, investing in innovative cleantech companies such as A123Systems, Powerspan and Targeted Growth.
One of the first investments made by BCVP was when it led Coskata’s Series C equity funding in Dec 2008 as mentioned in an earlier blog. In addition, new investors include Sumitomo and Arancia, and several of Coskata’s earlier Series A and Series B investors, including Khosla Ventures, Advanced Technology Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners, and TriplePoint Capital. The valuation and terms of the financing round were not disclosed.
According to Earth2Tech, the Blackstone Group has made a few moves into the renewable energy market. In July 2008, the company partnered with a German firm, Windland Energieerzeugungs GmbH, to complete the development and construction of Meerwind, one of the North Sea’s largest wind farm projects. The 400 MW project with 80 wind turbines located 80km off the northern coast of Germany will cost in excess of €1 billion to build.
That partnership followed on the heels of a $870 million investment in December 2007 in the Bujagali hydroelectric project in Uganda by Blackstone portfolio company Sithe Global Power. Sithe builds and operates large power generation systems in developing countries, a severely undeserved, but potentially huge, market for renewable energy.