DENVER, April 14 /PRNewswire/ --

Altira Group LLC - a pioneer and leader in venture capital and private equity funding for energy technology companies, today announced two significant investments totaling US$9.0MM.

Demonstrating its commitment to helping meet global energy demand Altira went against the national trend of declining venture capital investments by making multiple investments in energy technology.

We continue to see investment opportunity in these turbulent times, said Dirk McDermott, Managing Partner for Altira Group LLC, a Denver-based venture capital firm. We are pleased to be able to make these announcements at HRO's Rocky Mountain New Energy Markets Summit today and will continue to invest, helping provide jobs and expanding business in Colorado, as we address today's global energy challenges.

Altira's first investment is US$5.4MM in OPX Bioproducts. OPX has developed a novel way to produce renewable, biorefined chemicals and fuels at a lower cost than current petroleum-derived products. The Company's platform technology, Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering (EDGE), enables, in high throughput, genetic modification of E coli. The rapid manipulation of genes facilitates the identification of critical genetic codes attributed to the transformation of either sugar or syngas to the target chemical. In addition, EDGE then rapidly identifies the corresponding genes that improve volume/liter, yield, rate and purity in which the bioreaction takes place.

Altira has also finalized a follow-on investment of US$3.6MM in Southwest Windpower. Southwest Windpower is a leading developer and manufacturer of low cost, reliable, micro wind turbines in the range of 400 watts to 3 kilowatts. These small turbines provide electricity for remote homes, rural areas in developing countries, on-grid applications, telecommunication systems, recreational vehicles such as sailboats, and other remote applications. Southwest Windpower produces two main product lines - Air and Whisper - and has sold over 90,000 turbines to date. The Company is now focusing on the distributed generation market with Skystream, a series of new grid connected wind turbines that will allow consumers in rural areas to reduce or eliminate their monthly electrical bill. The Company has distributors in 55 countries and has been awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) National Small Business Exporter of the Year Award for 2009.

Solving our energy challenges will require a wide range of solutions, from both renewable and traditional energy sources, said Mr. McDermott. We invest in opportunities that have the potential to be transformative in the energy value chain. OPX and Southwest Windpower are two companies that offer market leading solutions.

About Altira Group

Altira Group LLC ( is a Denver based private equity and venture firm that has profitably invested in energy technology companies for over 13 years. Their portfolio includes companies in both the traditional and renewable energy sectors. Altira pursues opportunities to commercialize transformative technologies that drive efficiency and productivity gains throughout the energy value chain while reducing the carbon footprint.

Altira is currently investing out of its fifth fund. The typical initial investment in a portfolio company is in the US$5-US$15 Million range, with follow-on investments as warranted. Altira seeks investment opportunities led by experienced and dedicated management teams who are commercializing new energy technologies with high growth potential.

Jeff Blanc, +1-415-252-1703,, for Altira Group LLC