Ausra Secures $60.6 Million in Funding
To: ENVIRONMENTAL EDITORS
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PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ — Ausra, Inc., the provider of large-scale solar thermal energy systems for industrial processes and utility electricity generation, has secured $60.6 million in its latest preferred equity financing. Investors in this closing were led by KERN Partners of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and also included Generation Investment Management, based in London, England; Starfish Ventures of Melbourne, Australia; and Ausra’s founding investors Khosla Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The investor group committed these funds in support of Ausra’s reliable, cost-competitive technology, seasoned management team and global expansion.
“We are very pleased to have such prestigious investors join our team to assist Ausra in achieving its goals in the solar thermal energy market,” said Bob Fishman, president, CEO and chairman of Ausra. “This round of financing will enable us to accelerate delivery of our technology to our customers.”
“KERN Partners is excited to be investing in such a dynamic company that is poised to meet the growing demand for sustainable energy with its innovative and cost-competitive solar thermal technology,” said Jim Nieuwenburg, general partner with KERN Partners.
Proceeds from Ausra’s financing will fund the company’s research and product development and commercial activities, including the completion of its 5-megawatt Kimberlina solar thermal power project near Bakersfield, Calif. — the first power plant in North America to incorporate Ausra’s core technology, the Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) solar collector and steam generation system.
CLFR technology has significant advantages for its customers in cost, scalability, zero emissions and land-use efficiency. The company’s first commercial CLFR project, located in Australia, is currently under expansion. That facility will augment power production at an adjacent conventional power station later this quarter. Ausra is also developing a 177-megawatt CLFR power plant for Pacific Gas and Electric Company in central California.
The closing of this round of financing comes on the heels of several important milestones for Ausra and the solar thermal power industry.
— In late June, Ausra began production of a new reflector line at its first North American manufacturing and distribution center in Las Vegas, Nev. This highly automated manufacturing and distribution center will supply the reflectors, absorber tubes and other key components of Ausra’s and its customers’ solar thermal power plants in the rapidly growing Southwestern solar power industry. Ausra’s manufacturing facility has supplied all of the solar reflectors for the company’s Kimberlina solar thermal power facility.
— Earlier this month, Ausra announced three high-profile additions to its senior management team. Benjamin Montoya joins Ausra as a board member, Debra A. Olson as general counsel and executive vice president, and Jeffrey J. Melby as senior vice president for research and product development. Their experience and abilities expand an already strong management team with decades of experience in the global technology, renewable energy, and power generation.
— Ausra recently launched its direct solar steam product offering for industrial applications, including enhanced oil refining, food processing and pulp and paper manufacturing — both as retrofits for existing plants and in new plant designs. Solar steam provides a land use efficient and cost- effective path for companies involved in industrial processes to lower their fuel costs and emissions, while maintaining high reliability.
About Ausra, Inc.
Ausra delivers energy from the sun. The company provides solar power, steam and energy systems for industrial processes and utility- scale electricity generation. The company is a leader in solar thermal energy design, development and manufacturing, and is committed to serving the global energy needs of its customers in a dependable, market-competitive and environmentally responsible manner. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Ausra is a privately held company with operations in the United States and Australia. To learn more about Ausra and solar thermal energy, visit www.ausra.com.
SOURCE Ausra, Inc.
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