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Clean Energy Systems raises $15m for bioenergy project

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Clean Energy Systems (CES) has raised $15 million (€12.9 million) in a Series A funding round led by Carbon Direct Capital Management to support a carbon-negative power project.

The funding will accelerate the first commercial-scale deployment of CES technology at the carbon-negative power project in Mendota, California. Carbon Direct will join Clean Energy Systems’ board of directors.

CES is collaborating with Schlumberger New Energy, Chevron and Microsoft to develop a plant that will convert local agriculture waste biomass into a renewable synthesis gas that will be mixed with oxygen in a combustor to generate electricity.

More than 99% of the carbon from the process is expected to be captured for permanent storage by injecting CO2 underground into nearby deep geological formations. The Mendota project will create up to 300 construction jobs and 30 permanent jobs once the facility is operational.

“Our vision is to scale our carbon removal technology to gigaton-scale,” said Keith Pronske, CEO of CES. “In the State of California, our projects mitigate pile-burning of agricultural waste and permanently sequester CO2.

“Carbon Direct is a leading scientific advisor and financial sponsor to carbon technology companies, and we are delighted to welcome Carbon Direct as an investor.

“We admire Carbon Direct’s commitment to high-quality carbon removal standards and its science-first approach to investing. Carbon Direct’s investment is an important endorsement of our technology. We look forward to ongoing collaboration with the investment team and the senior scientists at Carbon Direct.”

Julio Friedmann, senior scientist at Carbon Direct, commented: “Waste biomass conversion with permanent CO2 storage can remove CO2 from the atmosphere affordably and with environmental benefits.

“CES’ technology can help support the state’s aggressive goal to end open-air burning of nearly all agricultural material in the San Joaquin Valley by 2025. Moving forward, it can also help California achieve its forest restoration goals by creating valuable products from low-value forest residues.”