BrightSource Energy Targets 2011 IPO

by Terrence Murray - December 22, 2010

BrightSource Energy, the California developer of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants, is eyeing an initial public offering in 2011.

However, before hiring any underwriters, BrightSource will work hard to prove to potential investors that its technology works, writes .

Currently, BrightSource is awaiting results from ongoing tests of a 29 megawatts, demonstration steam-generating facility it has deployed at a Chevron oil field in California.

G.E.R. previously reported that BrightSource was working with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to explore a potential share-sale.

Last month, after securing a $1.37 billion Department of Energy financing and a $300 million equity investment from New Jersey power company NRG Energy, BrightSource launched construction on the 392 megawatts Ivanpah project in California.

These ambitious projects have helped the solar plant developer garner lots of interest from both venture capital investors and government. However, will all of that support convince investors to buy shares? Green IPOs have, for the most part, not fared well, in part because of investor concern that green energy companies can’t generate healthy profits without government subsidies.

In June solar panel maker Solyndra, once an industry favorite, outright canceled its planed $300 million IPO, citing fierce competition from low-cost solar panel makers. Since then the company also announced the closing of one of its two factories.

Back in October, Boston wind-developer First Wind also canceled its IPO because it was unable to convince investors to buy shares, even after cutting the value of the IPO by 24 percent.

BrightSource wants to buck the trend, that’s why its waiting for test results at the Chevron oil field before committing to a share offering.

BrightSource VC backers, which stand to benefit from a successful IPO exit, include DBL Investors, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Google and VantagePoint Venture Partners.

Leave a Reply