Solar energy company BrightSource raises more than US$80m in equity financing

26 Oct 2012

Construction of the Ivanpah solar thermal plant in California's Mojave Desert. Image via BrightSource

US solar thermal technology developer BrightSource has raised more than US$80m, which it will use to build solar thermal power plants in the US and to expand into new markets, such as in India and Australia.

The latest financing in BrightSource means the company has now raised more than US$615m to date.

Power generation giant Alstom and VantagePoint Capital Partners led the latest financing round in the company. Other investors included DFJ, CalSTRS, DBL Investors, Goldman Sachs, Chevron Technology Ventures and BP Ventures.

As part of the financing round, Alstom and BrightSource are planning to extend their partnerships to build solar thermal plants in India and Australia. In 2010, the duo announced partnerships in the Mediterranean Ring and Africa.

BrightSource is constructing its 377MW solar thermal power plant called Ivanpah in California’s Mojave Desert. Google and NRG Energy are partners in the Ivanpah project, which BrightSource expects will provide energy to more than 140,000 homes in California when it becomes operational, likely by the end of 2013.

As well as this, BrightSource operates a 6MW thermal demonstration facility in Israel’s Negev Desert and a 29MW thermal facility for Chevron in Coalinga, California.

The company’s next two projects, the 500MW Rio Mesa and 500MW Hidden Hills solar thermal power plants, are under review by the California Energy Commission.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic