Thursday, May 20, 2010

BrightSource Energy raises $150 Million Series D financing

BrightSource Energy, Inc., developer of utility-scale solar thermal power plants, has raised an additional $150 million in its most recent equity financing. The Series D round brings BrightSource’s total equity financing to more than $300 million and positions the company for significant growth.

New investors including Alstom and the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) joined existing investors in this round, led by VantagePoint Venture Partners, Morgan Stanley and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

The additional financing will be used to support BrightSource's 2,610 megawatts in contracts with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Southern California Edison to build 14 solar power plants in the US southwest by 2016. The funds will also be used by BrightSource to further its international expansion plans.

“A Series D capital raise of this magnitude reflects the market’s confidence in our world-class team and the important role of our Luz Power Tower technology in meeting the growing global demand for cost-effective and reliable solar power,” said John Woolard, Chief Executive Officer of BrightSource. “By adding new strategic investors to our current blue chip investor base, we strengthen our ability to make solar thermal energy a significant part of the world’s energy mix.”

As part of the financing, global power-generation leader Alstom has committed to invest up to $55 million. This investment in BrightSource represents Alstom’s entry into the solar market and underscores BrightSource’s leading position in this industry.

Philippe Joubert, Alstom Power President, said, “BrightSource Energy’s market-leading solar-tower thermal-power technology complements Alstom’s strong portfolio of renewable energy solutions, building on our strength in hydro, geothermal, wind, tidal power, biomass and waste-to-energy solutions. Following this investment, both companies intend to enter into an industrial relationship, which will enhance BrightSource’s leading position in this industry.”

In February 2010, BrightSource received a conditional commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy for $1.37 billion in loan guarantees to support the financing of BrightSource’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System project – the first of its US-based power projects. Once constructed, Ivanpah will be the world’s largest solar energy project, nearly doubling the amount of solar thermal electricity produced in the US today. The project will also create more than 1,000 local jobs at the peak of construction and generate $250 million in construction wages. The power plant will be constructed by Bechtel, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the Ivanpah project. BrightSource expects to commence construction later this year.

“The BrightSource team continues to execute at the highest levels and set the bar for the utility-scale solar industry,” said Alan Salzman, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of VantagePoint Venture Partners. “With BrightSource’s proven ability to hit commercial and technological milestones, we see no limit to the company’s potential in transforming global power markets.”

BrightSource is the parent of Jerusalem, Israel-based BrightSource Industries Israel (BSII), formerly called Luz II. BSII performs R&D, production and project engineering for its California-based parent company.

In June 2008, BrightSource launched the Negev Solar Energy Development Center, a demonstration plant producing the world’s highest temperature steam from solar, at the Rotem Industrial Park near Dimona, Israel.

Related Posts:

BrightSource / Luz II dedicate Negev Solar Energy Development Center

BrightSource Energy expands Nevada solar thermal project to 960 MW

BrightSource Energy signs contract with Siemens for solar-powered generator

BrightSource Energy signs 1.3 GW solar thermal deal with SCE

BrightSource Energy planning 1200 MW solar power facility in Nevada

Arnold Goldman, Chairman of BrightSource Energy

BrightSource Energy raises $115 million in latest round of funding

BrightSource Energy signs large solar deal with PG&E

Monday, May 10, 2010

Emefcy raises $5m Series A financing

Emefcy, a microbial fuel cell startup based in Caesarea, Israel, has raised $5 million at a company value of more than $10 million, post-money.

UK investment fund Pond Venture Partners led the round, joined by current Emefcy investors Israel Cleantech Ventures Funds and Plan B Ventures, according to Globes and IVC Online.

Emefcy, co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Eytan Levy and Ronen Shechter, is developing the MEGAWATTER™ technology. This technology produces low cost electricity (at $0.10/kWhr) and hydrogen in a bio-electro-chemical process from wastewater treatment by leveraging Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) technology.

Levy and Shechter previously founded wastewater treatment company AqWise. In February 2009, this blog detailed Emefcy's efforts to raise a $3.5-$5.0 million Series A financing. That same month, Levy presented at a public event at MIT organized by the Boston Israel Cleantech Alliance. Plan B Ventures is based in Boston and its principal, Barbara Goldman, is a member of the Boston Israel Cleantech Alliance.

Levy told Globes, "The capital raised will help us set up a commercial pilot. We've already established laboratory pilots on increasingly larger scales. Progress to a commercial pilot is based on the successful results of the laboratory pilots."

Emefcy's Scientific Advisory Board includes Prof. Bruce Logan of Pennsylvania State University, Prof. Derek Lovely of the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and Prof. Bruce Rittmann, Director of the Biodesign Institute at the University of Arizona.

Related Posts:

Emefcy signs collaboration agreements, raising Series A funds

Israel Cleantech buys 11% of AqWise

AqWise founders start new cleantech venture