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What solar startup BrightSource is up to post-IPO plans

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Now that solar startup BrightSource Energy has ditched its IPO plans, some might think the company has dropped off the radar. But there’s actually some interesting things — some positive, some not so positive — going on with the company this week. Check out this latest news on BrightSource:

  • 1). Eye on Solar Trust’s 500MW solar project: The solar thermal company is interested in buying the yet-to-be-built 500 MW solar plant from the bankrupt Solar Trust of America, reports Bloomberg. Solar Trust reportedly asked a bankruptcy court to schedule a hearing to approve BrightSource as a stalking-horse bidder for the project.
  • 2). House Republicans putting on the pressure: The Wall Street Journals reports that House Republicans are ramping up an investigation into the Department of Energy loan guarantee for BrightSource’s Ivanpah solar project. The investigation is focused on BrightSource’s lobbying efforts last year before the loan was closed. According to studies like this one from Bloomberg, development projects like solar farms, which already have utility contracts in place, are far less risky than the manufacturing loan guarantees.
  • 3). Why BrightSource ditched its IPO plans: I reported last month via an interview with BrightSource CEO John Woolard that BrightSource was looking at a potential IPO market transaction that wasn’t necessarily at the terms that the company and its investors wanted. Instead of lowering its price range and raising less money for its IPO — which other firms like solar inverter maker Enphase Energy did — BrightSource simply decided to withdraw the IPO.