BrightSource Energy raises $80 million

Oakland-based BrightSource Energy announced Wednesday that it has raised an additional $80 million in a financing round led by existing investors. To date, the company has raised about $615 million.

In April, BrightSource Energy shelved its plans for an initial public offering amid a turbulent stock market, a challenging year for solar energy companies and tepid interest from investors. Many analysts said BrightSource had two options: raise more money or hope they got acquired.

This summer, we interviewed CEO John Woolard:

BrightSource is currently building the massive Ivanpah project in California’s Mojave Desert but is increasingly looking abroad. Ivanpah is more than halfway finished, and should be providing electricity to the grid in 2013. The company has proposed two other projects currently being reviewed by the California Energy Commission: Rio Mesa and Hidden Hills. The proposed Rio Mesa project would be located on the Palo Verde Mesa in Riverside County, on 3,805 acres of land leased from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.  A workshop about Rio Mesa is scheduled for Monday:

Alstom and VantagePoint Capital Partners led the round. Additional investors include DFJ, CalSTRS, DBL Investors, Goldman Sachs, Chevron Technology Ventures and BP Ventures among others.



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