A busy week for Canadian cleantech firms

Seems the Philips/TIR deal was just the tip of the iceberg for Canadian cleantech companies. A few more to add to the list:

* CO2 Solutions announced that partner Babcock & Wilcox has acquired an exclusive North American option to license the Quebec City-based company’s CO2-capture technology, which is based on a novel enzyme process. Babcock has also agreed to contribute to the costs of a formal joint technological development program. “As part of the agreement, B&W will take on the expenses involved in adapting CO2 Solution’s technology for a pilot project at a coal fired plant, which was announced last October. The agreement also foresees that in light of the results obtained, the two companies may undertake negotiations for a license grant,” the companies said in a release. I wrote about this company last month. Of interest is that B&W put out its own release the same day discussing two projects — one in Canada, the other in the United States — involving the use of a rival oxy-coal process for separating near-pure CO2 in a coal plant. It appears B&W is hedging its bets through its agreement with CO2 Solution.

* Fuel-cell developer Plug Power Inc. has agreed to acquire Richmond, B.C.-based Cellex Power Products Inc. for $45 million (U.S.), part of an effort by Plug Power to round out its product offerings. Cellex has developed a fuel-cell unit for forklifts and other materials handling vehicles, something Plug Power considers a near-term revenue opportunity. From what I understand, Cellex has used Ballard fuel cells up until now (as has General Hydrogen, another forklift fuel-cell provider), though I’m not sure if this has been an exclusive arrangement. You can bet that will change quickly. I should point out this is another Canadian company being scooped up by a non-Canadian company. Sigh…

* Xantrex Technology Inc. has formed a joint venture with Shanghai Power Transmission & Distribution Co. Ltd., a member of the massive Shanghai Electric Group. The venture, 49 per cent owned by Xantrex, will “design, manufacture and sell solar and wind power electronics products exclusively for the renewable energy market in China from a facility to be built in Shanghai, China.” Xantrex chairman Mossadiq Umedaly called the deal an “important milestone” as his Vancouver-based company attempts to establish a presence in China. The company points out in a press release that China’s new renewable energy law requires 15 per cent of the country’s energy mix to come from renewable energy sources by the year 2020. This venture could be potentially huge for Xantrex.

* Finally, Vancouver-based Finavera Renewables Inc. announced that SAIC will be its systems integration partner for future “ocean energy conversion programs.” According to a statement, “SAIC will work with Finavera to develop, integrate, procure, install and test ocean energy conversion devices, including the patented ‘AquaBuOY’ in marine renewable energy parks.” Finavera is a company I’ve been meaning to profile, since I haven’t devoted enough attention in this blog to wave and tidal energy systems. This working relationship with SAIC isn’t a huge deal, but it’s a sign that the company may have enough interesting projects in the pipeline to get a company as respected as SAIC on board. Worth watching.