BrightSource Raises Another $122M As Speculation Of IPO Increases

BrightSource Energy, the developer of large thermal solar plants in the Southwest, raised another $122.5 million as speculation of a 2011 IPO increases.

The company is among the current crop of cleantech startups likely to make the biggest splash with an initial public offering.

Its technology harnesses the heat of the sun’s rays to boil water and run massive turbines to generate electricity. Its tower-based technology is more efficient than that used by the current generation of parabolic trough plants.

According to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, the Oakland company raised $122,468,202 of $125 million equity round it hoped to sell. The money will go toward U.S. projects and international expansion.

Including the present Series E financing, the company has raised a total of $467.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters, publisher of this blog. Among its investors are VantagePoint Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Chevron Technology Ventures, DBL Ventures, Morgan Stanley Private Equity and OAO Rossiyskaya Venchurnaya Kompaniya.

BrightSource already has approval to build the 392 MW Ivanpah plant in the Mojave Desert, where construction began last October.

The company is said to be talking with bankers about a possible offering. The current round of financing was arranged by Chicago-based Advanced Equities, a firm that helps startups raise late-stage venture capital prior to going public.