Bloomberg News

GE Awards $63 Million to 10 Solar, Home Efficiency Startups

June 23, 2011

(Adds more winners from fifth paragraph.)

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co., the world’s largest maker of power-generation equipment, awarded $63 million to 10 closely held companies developing solar and renewable energy technologies.

Solar power companies, makers of communications equipment and software and building efficiency developers were among those recognized in the second round of the $200 million contest, Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE said today in a statement.

GE is spending about $10 billion by 2015 developing environmentally friendly products across its businesses through Chairman Jeffrey Immelt’s “ecomagination” program. The contest is being run in collaboration with the venture-capital firms Emerald Technology Ventures AG, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and RockPort Capital Partners.

Winners in the latest round include San Francisco-based residential solar installer SunRun Inc., Boston-based Ember Resources Inc., a Boston software and communications provider, and Austin, Texas-based Nuventix Inc.

Awards were also given to companies that improve the energy efficiency of buildings, including VPhase Plc, based in Manchester, U.K., Project Frog Inc. in San Francisco, and solar installer GMZ Energy Inc. of Waltham, Massachusetts. Communications companies Hara, On-Ramp Wireless Inc., Viridity Energy Inc. and WiTricity Corp were also winners.

GE didn’t disclose the amount of the funds that came from its venture-capital partners. When GE announced winners of the first contest, with a prize pool of $55 million, it planned to contribute about half the total. GE projects the power grid technology market will reach $20 billion by 2015.

--Editors: Emma O’Brien, Randall Hackley

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Martin in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at

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