On the GreenBeat: AlertMe raises $23 million, Tesla gearing up for Model S in 2012

Energy management firm AlertMe raised $23 million in a second round of funding ahead of planned expansion into the U.S. market. The company has picked up a strategic investor and commercial partner in British Gas, the U.K.’s largest utility, which invested about $9 million for a 15.96 percent stake in the company. The two companies have signed a commercial agreement worth over $32 million that will roll out AlertMe’s products to the utility’s customers – the products allow consumers to monitor and manage energy consumption over cell phones and the internet. Investors in this round include VantagePoint Venture, Index Ventures and SET Venture Partners.

On the GreenBeat: Carbon startup C3 looks to raise $50 million, White House goes solar

Energy and carbon management startup C3 is looking to raise almost $50 million in funding. The company was founded by Thomas Siebel, who sold Siebel Systems to Oracle for $5.9 billion in 2005, and counts Condeleeza Rice among its directors. It’s still in stealth mode, so details on the company and its products are scarce. Earth2tech notes it is entering crowded space — there are already 20 companies, including Hara, in the energy and carbon management space.

Tesla recalls 439 Roadsters

Tesla is recalling 439 Roadsters after a single incident in which a low-voltage auxiliary wire rubbed up against a carbon fiber panel in the car causing a short, smoke and “possible fire” behind the right front headlamp, the company reports.

On the GreenBeat: Cleantech investment keeps falling, Crosslink Capital closes $200 million fund

Investors putting money into cleantech have declined every quarter since early 2009, according to a report from Kachan & Co. Early-stage cleantech investment has especially suffered – according to Reuters, 20 percent of all cleantech venture capital went to early-stage and seed funding in the first half of 2010, down from 35 percent in 2007. China’s cleantech IPOs and M&A activity continues to lead the rest of the world by nearly fourfold.

On the GreenBeat: Amyris weathers first day of trading, California to double solar capacity

Biofuels and biomaterials company Amyris’s stock held up in its first day of trading, closing last night at $16.50, up three percent from its opening price of $16. The stock peaked at $17.44, the San Francisco Chronicle writes. The report estimates about 2.4 million shares were traded yesterday. The stock was reportedly priced below range. Earth2Tech deemed the IPO a “decent exit” for investors, estimating the worth of investors stakes: $67 million for Kleiner Perkins, $62 million for Khosla Ventures. The company raised a total of $85 million.

On the GreenBeat: Coda copies Apple's sales strategy, DuPont beats forecast and hits $1 billion in solar sales

Coda will be selling its $45,000 all-electric sedan in malls, a sales strategy the startup likens to Apple’s. The company plans to put up storefronts within 10 to 12 miles of its target demographic (stores are planned for Los Angeles and California’s Bay Area) and plans to retain control of the stores, servicing cars, proffering a “no-pressure” sales environment and offering the cars for sale without markup. The company made waves when it announced the high price tag earlier this week because the relatively unknown vehicle is priced well above the cost of the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, which, like Coda’s sedan, will be released in December.

On the GreenBeat: GE partners with Better Place, smart grid market poised to hit $9.6 billion by 2015

GE and electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure startup Better Place announced a partnership this morning. The collaboration will build compatibility between the products of the two companies, finance battery purchases abroad and push for greater EV adoption. The companies will help finance the purchase of 10,000 EV batteries in Israel and Denmark and will make GE’s WattStation charging stations (pictured) compatible with Better Place’s network of EV infrastructure. [Update: Check out our in-depth look at how the partnership will work.]

On the GreenBeat: $6 billion solar plant wins approval, Solyndra's secret sauce

Chevron Energy Ventures and Solar Millennium’s proposed $6 billion solar power plant – to be the largest in the world – has cleared approval from the California Energy Commission, according to a Reuters report. The Blythe, Calif. plant will have a capacity of 1,000 megawatts — big numbers in an industry where the largest plants are about one-third that size. Solar Millennium and Ferrostaal AG are working to develop the plant through a joint venture, Solar Trust of America. It’s unclear what role Chevron plays in the plant, according to the Reuters story. Southern California Edison has already entered a deal to purchase all of the energy generated from the first half of the project. The entire project consists of four 250 megawatt plants.

On the GreenBeat: SG Biofuels gets $9.4 million in first round, Toyota to launch six new hybrids by 2012

In its $9.4 million first-round financing, SG Biofuels has attracted the backing of a subsidiary of Koch Industries – the first time the oil and agriculture conglomerate has invested in biofuels. SG Biofuels makes fuel from the inedible seed of the jatropha plant (pictured). Oils produced from jatropha could be made for less than $1 a gallon, Earth2Tech reports.

On the GreenBeat: A123 opens battery plant, Siemens targets India

A123 opens largest lithium-ion battery plant in the U.S. The Livonia, Mich. plant will expand the company’s manufacturing capabilities by up to 600 megawatt-hours per year, with the goal of ramping up to a total 760M megawatt-hours by next year’s end. The announcement comes one year after A123 was awarded a $249 million grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As GigaOm notes, A123’s IPO last year opened at $17 per share but now trades at less than $10 per share. Another Michigan-based battery player, Sakti3, made news last week for winning a $3.2 million investment from the venture capital arm of GM.

On the GreenBeat: A long road ahead for electric car batteries, how Cisco's spree affects smart grids

Electric vehicles face a long road to progress when it comes to its lithium-ion batteries, IBM scientist Winfried Wilcke tells the New York Times. Advances in lithium-ion technology have been slow, says Wilcke, whose team is trying to develop a technology that would extend EVs’ range to 500 miles on a single charge (current EVs have a range of around 100 miles). He likens the long road ahead to “climbing Mount Everest.”