BrightSource raises $89M out of planned $100M for solar thermal

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Solar thermal company BrightSource Energy has raised $89.5 million out of a planned $100 million round, according to an SEC filing.

Last summer, the company set out to raise $215 million and closed on $176 million of it as of June of last year. It also announced in May it had raised $150 million in equity financing from investors that included Alstrom, Draper Fisher Jurveston, Morgan Stanley and VantagePoint. The company is perennially bandied around as an IPO candidate, with a couple of folks betting that this will be the year.

BrightSource has been flying high on a few successes, last year landing a $1.37 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy for its Ivanpah project, a 392-megawatt solar project that could generate enough energy to power up to 140,000 homes. The project is currently underway and uses BrightSource’s solar thermal technology, which involves using a field of mirrors in the Mojave Desert to reflect sunlight onto a point on “power towers” that contain liquid that can be heated to generate the steam that turns electrical turbines (pictured).

Power plant company NRG Energy has pledged to invest $300 million over the next three years in the Ivanpah project. And PG&E and Southern California Edison have all signed 20 to 25-year power purchase agreements to buy electricity generated at the site.

BrightSource  also has a deal with Chevron to build a 29-megawatt solar thermal plant at the site of one of Chevron’s oil fields in California.

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