Global leader in equipment and services for power generation, Asltom, on Saturday announced joining hands with BrightSource Energy Inc. with an investment of $55 million to enter the high-growth solar energy market.

The company announced investing up to $55 million in BrightSource Energy with an equity stake that positions Alstom as one of the main shareholders in the company. This operation takes place as part of a capital increase of $150 million organised by BrightSource.

This privately-owned company is a specialist in designing, building and operating tower based solar thermal power plants with operations in the U.S., Israel and Australia.

In a statement here, Philippe Joubert, Alstom Power president, said: “With this agreement, Alstom and BrightSource intend to enter into a fruitful industrial relationship which will enhance BrightSource's leading position in the solar energy market. This partnership is a new step in Alstom's clean power strategy.”

BrightSource's technology employs thousands of mirrors to reflect sunlight onto a central receiver atop a tower to produce high temperature steam at the highest levels of solar efficiency. The steam is then piped to a steam turbine and generator which produce electricity. BrightSource has contracts for a total of 2,600 MW with PG&E and Southern California Edison — California's two largest utilities. To meet this demand, the company intends to build 14 solar power plants in the U.S. southwest by 2016.

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