Oregon's haul triples as national VC cleantech investment climbs 73%

U.S. venture capital investment in cleantech companies grew 73 percent in the third quarter, with Oregon’s tally tripling thanks to Hillsboro-based ClearEdge Power’s massive August fund-raising round.

Cleantech companies nationwide raised $1.1 billion in the third quarter, according to a report from global tax firm Ernst & Young LLP, using data from Dow Jones VentureSource. That represents 76 total deals, a 36 percent increase from last year’s third quarter.

Though California led the way, Oregon joined Pennsylvania in reporting the biggest growth in the quarter.

The state landed $73.5 million in cleantech venture capital, more than tripling its take from the third quarter of 2010.

All of that, however, can be attributed to a single deal: Hillsboro-based fuel-cell maker ClearEdge Power’s Series E funding round announced in September.

Fuel cells or, more broadly, companies manufacturing energy storage devices, were a major catalyst for the quarter’s rise in VC investment.

The energy storage segment led cleantech investment in the quarter, tallying $421 million, a nearly 2,000 percent increase over last year. Fuel cell makers led the segment with $225.5 million. The category has raised $865.2 million so far in 2011.

Other categories of note:

Energy/electricity generation: Raised $255.1 million, down 2 percent from 2010. Solar led the category with $195.8 million.

Energy efficiency: Raised $245.1 million, a 23 percent increase. That was spread across 21 deals, a 31 percent increase from 16 deals in the third quarter of 2010.

Industry products and services: Generated $132 million in capital, down 22 percent.

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