As solar thermal startup BrightSource gets ready to finish building its flagship solar farm Ivanpah in the desert near Las Vegas, the company is looking to raise another $35 million in funding, and has closed on $15 million in equity and a note offering of that round, according to a filing. The news follows on BrightSource’s funding of $80 million in private equity late last year.
BrightSource develops solar thermal plants and its designs use fields of large mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a high tower. The tower has a boiler at the top which heats liquid, which in term runs steam turbines and produces electricity. The Ivanpah solar farm near Las Vegas is being built on 3,600 acres, and has 2,100 workers that install about one mirror a minute onto poles in the desert ground.
While BrightSource is close to completing its massive solar farm, it’s also hit some hurdles this year. The company’s longtime CEO John Woolard stepped down this Summer, and the startup has seen a couple of its contracts to sell power from its desert solar farms to utilities cancelled this year. BrightSource also pulled its IPO last year.
That said, finishing Ivanpah is a huge milestone for BrightSource, and as of May it was 92 percent complete. In April the company had “first steam,” testing the mirrors and the boiler units.
BrightSource’s investors include Alstom, venture firm VantagePoint Capital Partners, DFJ, CalSTRS, DBL Investors, Goldman Sachs, Chevron Technology Ventures and BP Ventures. A spokesperson for BrightSource said the company is not commenting on the filing.