Alstom invests in solar thermal company BrightSource Energy

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Alstom is investing up to US$55 million in solar thermal company BrightSource Energy Inc to enter the solar thermal energy market.

The investment, making <link http: _blank>Alstom one of the larger shareholders, takes place as part of a capital increase of $150 million organised by <link http: _blank>BrightSource, which specialises in designing, building and operating tower based solar thermal power plants with operations in the USA, Israel and Australia.

John M. Woolard, CEO and President of BrightSource, says: “Alstom’s investment in BrightSource illustrates the important role of our Luz Power Tower technology in meeting global demand for highly efficient, reliable and carbon-free energy resources.

“Alstom is a world leader in power generation. Their commercial and industrial capabilities and our shared commitment to innovation and environmental leadership make this a natural fit. We welcome Alstom and we look forward to building on this relationship as we continue to grow the US solar market and expand internationally.”

BrightSource has contracts for a total of 2.6 GW with PG&E and Southern California Edison – California’s two largest utilities.

The solar thermal company intends to build 14 solar power plants in the US southwest by 2016.