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By Jeff St. John

NGP Energy Technology Partners has raised $348 million for a second fund to invest in energy companies including greentech startups – the latest sign of an emerging resurgence in green technology venture investment amidst a dismal economy.

The recent closing comes on top of a first round of $148 million raised by the Washington, D.C. firm in 2005. That money went into 12 companies with annual revenues of about $300 million, the firm reports.

Some of NGP ETP's portfolio companies include amorphous silicon module maker Xunlight, solar panel inverter maker Satcon Technology Corp., solar distributor and installer GroSolar, small-scale wind turbine maker Southwest Windpower and wind turbine blade maker TPI Composites (see Green Light post).

The firm typically invests $5 million to $20 million per investment, and looks to later-stage companies that can serve general oil, gas and power industries as well as alternative energy and energy efficiency. Recent investments include a June stake in Houston-based Turbine Air Systems (see Fox Business story).

Greentech venture capital investment saw a bit of a resurgence in the second quarter of this year, compared to a lackluster first quarter. The second quarter saw $1.2 billion invested in 85 startups, compared to the first quarter's $836 million invested in 50 startups, according to Greentech Media analyst Eric Wesoff (see Green Light post).

But investment isn't likely to match the record-setting pace of 2008, when VC's put $7.6 billion into about 350 startups. And the type and size of investment has shifted, with a notable dearth of large-scale ($100 million and up) investment in solar and biofuel companies that characterized last year's activity.

Instead, VC's are looking to smaller investments across a broader spread of industries, including smart grid, automotive and energy storage companies, although the solar sector still took the top slot in the second quarter with $330 million raised.

NGP Energy Technology Partners is affiliated with NGP Energy Capital Management (NASDAQ:NGPC), a $9.5 billion firm that invests in all sectors of the energy industry

Source: NGP Energy Technology Partners Raises $348M for Fund that Includes Greentech Startups