Today in Cleantech

For those of you that started your weekend a bit early on Friday (like me), here’s the news you missed — BrightSource Energy has announced plans for a $250 million IPO. The long-awaited move by the Oakland, Calif.-based solar thermal power technology provider and power plant developer gives us all a chance to find out just how excited investors will be by a richly funded solar power startup trying to grow to utility industry scale. BrightSource has raised $530 million since its 2003 founding, so it will have to perform pretty well to give those backers a return on their investment. It also has a $1.6 billion Department of Energy loan guarantee in hand to start building its make-or-break project, the 392-megawatt Ivanpah solar power project in California’s Mojave Desert. As its S-1 filing indicates, BrightSource has raised $2.2 billion in financing commitments for the project. It needs the project to succeed if it’s to start earning revenues to tackle its estimated $1.8 billion in debt and financial obligations, prove its technology works at scale and deliver on its commitments for another 2.6 gigawatts of projects its signed power purchase agreements to deliver on.