GE, NRG Energy Inc. and ConocoPhillips have committed $300 million in capital to a new joint venture, Energy Technology Ventures, to fund 30 venture- and growth-stage companies over the next four years.

The first investments are in companies developing technologies in solar photovoltaic (Alta Devices), cleaner coal (Ciris Energy Inc.) and non-food biofuels (CoolPlanetBioFuels).

This is the first corporate venture investment program by both NRG Energy and ConocoPhillips. GE Capital is among the world’s most active energy technology venture and growth capital investors.

Energy Technology Ventures will invest in, and offer commercial collaboration opportunities to, venture- and growth-stage energy technology companies in the renewable power generation, smart grid, energy efficiency, oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear energy, emission controls, water and biofuels sectors, primarily in North America, Europe and Israel.

The joint venture’s initial investments are in:
• Alta Devices, Santa Clara, Calif., improving the production economics of advanced materials for high-efficiency, low-cost solar energy.
• Ciris Energy Inc., Centennial, Colo., developing technology to biochemically convert coal to methane at large scale and low cost.
• CoolPlanetBioFuels, Camarillo, Calif., developing technology that converts low-grade biomass into high-grade fuel and carbon that can be sequestered.

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