On Monday, April 11, 2011, BrightSource Energy, Inc., announced that it had closed financing for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, a 392 megawatt solar power plant under construction in California's Mojave Desert. Financing for the plant includes $1.6 billion in loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy and a $168 million equity investment by internet giant Google, both announced on Monday. NRG Solar is the project's other large equity stakeholder, which has committed to invest up to $300 million. BrightSource, which is headquartered in Oakland, California, also has operations in the Negev (Israel) and Australia.

The Ivanpah plant will generate power by means of BrightSource's concentrating solar "power tower" technology, which uses proprietary software to control thousands of mirrors that concentrate sunlight onto a boiler placed atop a tower. The power generated will be sold under long-term power purchase agreements to Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, helping the utilities to meet California's renewable energy standard of 33% renewable energy generation by 2020. Located on 3500 acres of desert land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Ivanpah will conserve water by using a dry cooling system. All three phases of the plant are expected to be completed by mid-2013.

Read the company's press release here and read Google's blog about the deal here.