About: BrightSource Energy, Inc. provides clean, reliable and low cost solar energy for utility and industrial companies worldwide. The BrightSource Energy team combines nearly three decades of experience designing, building and operating the world’s largest solar energy plants with world-class project development capabilities. The company now has contracted to sell more than 2.6 gigawatts of power to be generated using its proprietary solar thermal technology. BrightSource Energy’s solar plants are designed to minimize their impact on the environment and help customers reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Oakland, Calif., BrightSource Energy is a privately held company with operations in the United States and Israel.
John M. Woolard, CEO and President
Israel Kroizer, Chief Operating Officer, BrightSource Energy, and President of BrightSource Industries (Israel) Ltd.
Jack Jenkins-Stark, Chief Financial Officer
Thomas P. Doyle, Executive Vice President, Global Development
Charles Ricker, Senior Vice President, Business Development
Joshua Bar-Lev, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
Daniel T. Judge, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Board of Directors:
Arnold J. Goldman, Chairman & Founder
John M. Woolard, CEO and President
David Fries, Managing Director, VantagePoint Venture Partners
Geoffrey Richardson, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley
Jim Eats, Director, BrightSource Energy, Inc.
BrightSource Energy’s proprietary Luz Power Tower 550 (LPT 550) energy system is built on proven “power tower” technology. The system uses thousands of small mirrors called heliostats to reflect sunlight onto a boiler atop a tower to produce high temperature steam. The steam is then piped to a conventional turbine which generates electricity. In order to conserve precious desert water, the LPT 550 system uses air-cooling to convert the steam back into water. The water is then returned to the boiler in an environmentally-friendly closed cycle. This fully integrated energy system is designed to offer the highest operating efficiencies and lowest capital costs in the industry.
Series C, May 2008 – $115m
VantagePoint Venture Partners
BP Alternative Energy
Statoil Hydro Venture
Black River Asset Management
DBL Investors (formerly a subsidiary of JP Morgan)
Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Chevron Technology Ventures
Seed capital is from VantagePoint
Total funding raised to date: More than $160m
News: On 14 July 2009, BrightSource Energy was named as one of the 25 companies to watch in energy tech by BusinessWeek. BrightSource imports its solar thermal technology from Israel where its plants have been transforming heat from the sun into electricity for decades using scores of mirrors to concentrate the sun’s heat. BrightSource has contracts with Southern California Edison (SCE) and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to build 14 plants in the sunny Southwestern US by 2017.
On 13 May 2009, PG&E announced that it has entered into a series of contracts with BrightSource for a total of 1,310MW of solar thermal power. The power purchase agreements, covering 7 projects, superseded that agreements in April 2008 for up to 900MW of solar thermal power. All 7 projects are expected to produce 3,666 gigawatt-hours of power each year, equal to the annual consumption of about 530,000 average homes. PG&E said the agreement represents the largest solar deal in the world. The first of the 7 deals, a 110MW plan in Ivanpah, Calif., is expected to begin operation in 2012. BrightSource plans to secure project financing the 2nd half of 2009.
Prior to this, in 11 Feb 2009, SCE and BrightSource signed agreement on a series of contracts for 1,300MW of clean solar thermal power, enough to serve nearly 845,000 homes. It was the world’s largest solar deal then; so now BrightSource has 2 largest solar deals. The first of the 7 solar power plants is located in Ivanpah, Calif., and is expected to produce 286,000 megawatt-hours of renewable electricity per year.
BrightSource Industries (Israel) Ltd., formerly named Luz II Ltd., is a wholly owned subsidiary of BrightSource Energy, Inc. Based in Israel, BrightSource Industries is responsible for solar technology development, plant design and engineering.
Ausra, Solel, eSolar, SUNRGI, Abengoa Solar, Sener, SolarReserve
Note: In this article, it said that several concentrating solar companies were founded in the past five years, but the credit crisis and economic downturn has made it very difficult to finance these expensive projects. One BrightSource Energy competitor, Ausra, has shifted its business strategy away from giant solar power plants to focus on being a technology and equipment supplier instead to begin immediately generating revenue.