OptiSolar Raises $77.8M


Thin-film solar company OptiSolar raised another $77.8 million from investors, regulatory filings show.

This is in addition to the $132 million the company raised in April. I couldn’t get a hold of the company via telephone this afternoon, but I imagine the money will primarily go to finance the solar power production plants the company has been working on for some time.

VentureBeat has some details about OptiSolar’s plans to build a 550 megawatt solar energy plant in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., which will likely be one of the world’s biggest when it is completed.

Although the financing sounds huge to me, it is in-line with the other massive capital outlays going to solar companies. Google and BP poured $115 million into OptiSolar competitor BrightSource last quarter, as Earth2Tech reports.

Thomson Reuters (publisher of PEHub) has been classifying deals of this sort as “venture capital,” but this may be a poor moniker. There seems to be an emerging asset class uniquely associated with cleantech projects designed to bridge the gap between venture finance and project finance. Kleiner Perkins is working to address this opportunity with its Green Growth Fund and other firms will likely follow suit.

Anybody have any idea or thoughts on what the risk/reward profile for such deals will look like?