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January 2nd, 2008
Seattle area a new hub for "clean" technology
Washington, with $121 million in venture-capital investments, ranked fourth behind Texas.
But the state has already seen some world-class funding activity. In early 2007, Imperium Renewables raised $113 million in one of the largest alternative-energy venture-capital deals ever, and borrowed another $101 million. In August, the company's coastal biodiesel plant, the nation's largest, catapulted Washington to the third-highest biodiesel-production capacity of any state.
Ambitious startup Propel Biofuels has begun selling the fuel in pumps around the city, and such firms as EnerG2 are working on nanomaterials to improve fuel cells for hybrid cars.
Clean Edge founder Ron Pernick said the alternative-energy industry may not be destined to have a single dominant hub, as it stretches from solar technology to agriculture. Many regions have different advantages and are emerging as significant players.
The Seattle area has all the ingredients necessary to propel the industry, he said: prestigious academic institutions, an activist government, a pool of managerial talent and "wealthy folks that are coming out of Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon and other companies who could invest."
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