Cool Planet Energy Systems, a renewable fuels and biochar company (earlier post), closed on its targeted $100 million Series D financing. All of the current strategic and venture investors added to their investment in this round, and the company significantly broadened its investor base with more than 50% of equity funds from new investors coming from outside the US. The private placement has been jointly led by UBS and Goldman Sachs.
Cool Planet’s green fuels are chemically identical to fossil fuels, with one of the lowest capital costs in the industry. The company’s process also produces a biochar-based product called CoolTerra that has the capability of making the fuel “carbon negative,” reversing the consequences of CO2 build-up from fossil fuels, the company says. Used as a soil amendment, its CoolTerra biochar product also increases crop productivity and plant health while reducing water and fertilizer requirements.
Cool Planet is moving aggressively to commercialize its technology and scale production of its renewable fuel and CoolTerra products. The company broke ground on its first biofuel production facility in Alexandria, Louisiana, on 26 February 2014. The plant is expected to produce 10 million gallons per year of high-octane, renewable fuel and gasoline blendstocks, as well as CoolTerra biochar products. The company has begun selling CoolTerra for use in commercial agriculture and recently signed an agreement with Organic Waste Solutions (OWS) for water treatment and remediation.
North Bridge Venture Partners and Concord Energy were the lead investors for the round. Funding also came from existing investors BP, Energy Technology Ventures (GE, ConocoPhillips and NRG Energy), Google Ventures and the Constellation division of Exelon.
Cool Planet’s business model of building small-scale facilities located close to the biomass fuel source provides one of the lowest capital costs in the industry, enabling the company to compete directly with the traditional oil industry. Frost and Sullivan recently honored Cool Planet with a Technology Innovation Leadership Award for 2014.