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Alstom invests in solar thermal company BrightSource Energy

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 Alstom one of the larger shareholders, takes place as part of a capital increase of $150 million organised by 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.

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