Power generation equipment and services supplier, Alstom, has announced the strengthening of its renewables portfolio through a partnership with BrightSource Energy Inc. Alstom's move into the high-growth solar energy market comes in the form of an investment of up to US$55mn in BrightSource Energy Inc, with an equity stake that positions Alstom as one of the main shareholders in the company. The deal takes place as part of a capital increase of US$150mn organised by BrightSource, a privately-owned company that specialises in designing, building and operating tower based solar thermal power plants.
BrightSource?s technology employs thousands of mirrors to reflect sunlight onto a central receiver on top of a tower to produce high temperature steam at the highest levels of solar efficiency. The steam is then piped to a steam turbine and generator which produce electricity. Because BrightSource?s tower technology can operate at the highest steam temperature ranges, the system benefits from the highest efficiency, performance and therefore lowest cost-per-MW among solar technologies.