BrightSource actually raising $130M for solar thermal

The field of heliostats around Ivanpah 1

Last month solar thermal startup BrightSource announced it had raised a massive $80 million in equity. But in addition to that $80 million, the company is also looking to close on another $50 million according to a filing, which would bring this latest round to $130 million. That’s huge and would bring BrightSource’s total funding raised to date to $665 million.

As I previously pointed out, it’s pretty rare these days that a cleantech startup can close on such a large round — investors are far less willing to put big rounds into cleantech startups in 2012 (see GigaOM Pro’s Q3 wrap up). But some cleantech startup outliers — able to raise sizable rounds — are still out there.

BrightSource develops solar thermal plants and its design uses fields of large mirrors to concentrate sun light onto the top of large towers. The tower has a boiler at the top that heats liquid, which in turn runs steam turbines and produces electricity. BrightSource is building a solar farm called Ivanpah near Las Vegas on 3,600 acres, and currently has 2,100 workers installing about one mirror a minute onto poles in the desert ground.

BrightSource’s investors include power company Alstom and venture firm VantagePoint Capital Partners, and additional investors included DFJ, CalSTRS, DBL Investors, Goldman Sachs, Chevron Technology Ventures and BP Ventures.

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