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Solar thermal company receives $130m

Idealab, Google and Oak Investment Partners have invested in pre-fabricated power plant company eSolar.

Oak Investment Partners, Google and Idealab are among backers that have invested $130 million (€82 million) in eSolar, a solar thermal power plant company based in Pasadena, California.

The funding will be used for the construction and deployment of pre-fabricated power plants. eSolar’s modular facilities, the company says, are designed to address solar power’s four main obstacles: price, scalability, rapid deployment and grid impact.

“eSolar’s primary business goal is nothing short of making solar energy for less than the price of coal, without subsidies,” said Idealab founder Bill Gross in a statement. Idealab, which founded eSolar in 2007, is a business incubator company which creates, operates and supports technology companies.

Oak Investment Partners managing partner Bandel Carano calls eSolar a “truly disruptive, scalable technology” that can deliver solar energy at market prices. Oak Investment is an $8.4 billion multi-stage venture capital firm with offices in Westport, Connecticut, Palo Alto, California and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Google.org, the internet giant’s philanthropic arm, previously told sister magazine Private Equity International that it was working with eSolar as part of its RE

“We’ve reached the conclusion that if solar, wind, geothermal and other sources are going to really have their place in terms of climate change and energy security, they’ve got to be more competitive economically,” Dan Reicher, Google.org’s head of Climate and Energy Initiatives, told Private Equity International. 

Google’s RE

eSolar’s first fully operational power plant will be completed in Southern California later this year.