BrightSource Raises $80M More for Concentrating Solar Power

Equity finance totals more than $615 million so far for the CSP stalwart.

October 24, 2012

Full arti­cle from Green​tech​Me​dia​.com is here.

 

Eric Wesoff, Herman Trabish: October 24, 2012

 

Bright­Source Ener­gy, a con­cen­trat­ing solar ther­mal tech­nol­o­gy firm, just announced that it raised more than $80 mil­lion in equi­ty financ­ing, bring­ing its total equi­ty financ­ing to more than $615 mil­lion.

The fund­ing was led by exist­ing investors Alstom and Van­tage­Point Cap­i­tal Part­ners, along with DFJ, Cal­STRS, DBL Part­ners, Gold­man Sachs, Chevron Tech­nol­o­gy Ven­tures and BP Ven­tures, et al. No new investors were added in this round.

In April of this year, Bright­Source pulled its IPO reg­is­tra­tion state­ment with the SEC, almost a year after reg­is­ter­ing, claim­ing that “the con­tin­ued mar­ket and eco­nom­ic volatil­i­ty are not opti­mal con­di­tions for an IPO.” Rumors were ram­pant in the days before with­draw­ing the IPO that the com­pa­ny was hav­ing trou­ble mak­ing its book as it sought to raise up to $182.5 mil­lion in its ini­tial pub­lic offer­ing.

Exist­ing investors are keep­ing the com­pa­ny going and con­struc­tion at the flag­ship Ivan­pah project is con­tin­u­ing full speed ahead.

A release from the com­pa­ny has the firm expand­ing “geo­graph­ic part­ner­ships to build solar ther­mal pow­er plants in India and Aus­tralia.”

Stephan Doleza­lek, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor at Van­tage­Point, wrote in a release,“With its Ivan­pah plant near­ing com­ple­tion, Bright­Source is demon­strat­ing the impor­tant role that large-scale solar ther­mal pow­er will play in pro­vid­ing clean, cost-effec­tive and reli­able pow­er to the Amer­i­can grid.”

Bright­Source is in the process of build­ing the 377-megawatt Ivan­pah solar project in part­ner­ship with NRG Ener­gy and Google. The next two projects on deck for Bright­Source are the 500-megawatt Rio Mesa and 500-megawatt Hid­den Hills projects, cur­rent­ly in the per­mit­ting process with the Cal­i­for­nia Ener­gy Com­mis­sion.

Ivan­pah is co-owned by NRG Ener­gy, Google, Bech­tel Cor­po­ra­tion and Bright­Source. The project was per­mit­ted by the Bureau of Land Man­age­ment (BLM) for devel­op­ment on fed­er­al lands in Ivan­pah Dry Lake, Cal­i­for­nia, just adja­cent to the Neva­da bor­der.

Ivan­pah will be the biggest con­cen­trat­ing solar pow­er facil­i­ty in the world when it is ful­ly on-line at the end of 2013. It will use a solar pow­er tow­er tech­nol­o­gy designed by Bright­Source founder Arnold Gold­man, who was the dri­ving force in the devel­op­ment of the first solar pow­er plants in Cal­i­for­nia in the late 1980s and ear­ly 1990s.

Bech­tel is head­ing up the engi­neer­ing, pro­cure­ment and con­struc­tion (EPC) of three adja­cent tow­ers, which will send a total of 370 megawatts to the Cal­i­for­nia grid for Pacif­ic Gas and Elec­tric (PG&E) and South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Edi­son (SCE).

The project is backed by a $1.63 bil­lion DOE loan guar­an­tee, but the per kilo­watt-hour prices con­tract­ed in the PG&E and SCE PPAs are con­fi­den­tial. BSE esti­mates the glob­al solar pow­er plant mar­ket will exceed $200 bil­lion by 2020.