BrightSource Solar Raises Another $122 Million

Israeli Solar energy company BrightSource is the child, but the real father of solar thermal technology.

SEC filings show BrightSource Energy Inc has raised $122.5 million in its fifth round of financing, according to Israel’s Globes.The company says it raised the capital in shares and warrants, as part of a planned $125 million offering. BrightSource Energy is now the California “parent company” of the actual “parent” – BrightSource Industries Ltd –  if you consider parenting from the generative point of view. (Luz Rises Again as BrightSource for California)

Originally, the Israeli inventors developed the solar thermal technology that has now been proven since the eighties in the California desert and is fast becoming the industry standard. The Israeli “child” company is the real father of solar thermal technology, however.

BrightSource Energy has an odd combination of investors on board, with an unusually high concentration of governments, including the renewable-friendly Norwegian government-owned StatOil’s StatoilHydro Venture, and the very green California State Teachers Retirement System, but also, oddly, the Russian government’s venture capital fund.

Other investors represent the cutting edge of cleantech you might expect: Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Google.org, and VantagePoint Venture Partners.

Yet, surprisingly, oil companies BP and Chevron round out these strange shareholder bedfellows – or maybe that is not so strange. Brightsource’s thermal technology holds promise in oil field extraction as well, because solar thermal technology is increasingly holding its own economically against natural gas. On oil fields, in desert regions, solar thermal is replacing natural gas to heat water to make electricity for site operations. In California, and in the Middle East, oil companies are trying solar to boost oil production instead of natural gas.

BrightSource operates a small pilot project in the Negev desert, and has managed to bypass the high hurdles set for utility-scale solar in California.

Its Ivanpah project is one of the very, very few among over 11 gigawatts-worth of utility-scale applications to be permitted to break ground, and though it is not yet generating electrons – and thus, money – Brightsource is now licensing its pioneering technology.

::BrightSource

Read more on BrightSource:
BrightSource Joins Last Minute Renewables Rush as Greece Heads Off EU Fines
BrightSource Gets a Billion
BrightSource Cuts World’s Largest Solar Energy Deal With SCE in California

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