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eSolar – Understanding this Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Company,Technology,Products,Investors,Stock IPO Prospects

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eSolar is a US based Solar Thermal Technology Startup which has managed to raise $182 million from top VCs and investors and managed to win contracts to build solar power plants using its proprietary Power Tower Technology in the US,China and India.Note like Brightsource Energy,eSolar is one of the most promising CSP startups which has managed to get funding and contracts,it now needs to execute to deliver on its potential.Note Solar Thermal Companies are facing a huge assault from Solar PV Technology where costs are declining rapidly.

eSolar Technology

Solar is using the Power Tower Technology same as Brightsource Technology which differs from the parabolic trough mainstream CSP Technology.Note Parabolic Trough Technology is used by most of the established Spanish players like Abengoa.It is also the Technology used in the 354 MW largest solar thermal plant in the US built in the 1980s by Luz.In this technology thousands of heliostats (mirrors) reflect the solar light onto a “Power Tower” where water or salt is heated up.This heat energy is then transferred into Electrical Energy through standard Steam Turbines and Generators used in Gas,Nuclear and Thermal Power Plants.

eSolar Products

A 46 MW eSolar power unit consists of 12 towers (each with its own north-south heliostat sub-field), a turbine generator set, and a steam condenser. 46 MW power units fit on approximately 100 hectares (250 acres).A small and mass-manufactured heliostat is the building block of the eSolar solution. eSolar designed the heliostats for deployment in pre-fabricated “heliostat sticks”.A field of sun-tracking heliostats reflects solar heat to a thermal receiver mounted atop a central power tower. The focused heat boils water within the thermal receiver and produces steam. The plant pipes the steam from each thermal receiver and aggregates it at the turbine, powering a power generator.Note the Steam Turbine and Condensors are being source from General Electric for its 5 MW pilot plant in California.

eSolar Investors

  1. NRG Energy is one of the biggest private utlities in the USA  with 24 GW of power generation capacity.It has become a big players in the Renewable Energy field buying solar power plants outright or partially from Brightsource,First Solar and Sunpower.(Customer as well)
  2. Acme Group (Customer as well)
  3. Quercus Trust
  4. Oak Investment Parnters is a big US based VC fund
  5. Google
  6. Idealab

Note eSolar unlike Brightsource has not managed to get a power equipment heavyweight like Bechtel or Alstom to invest or parnter with it.Note startups like eSolar can really do with the expertise and project managment experience of these huge MNC conglomerates to successfully build large solar thermal power plants.

eSolar Power Plants and  Projects

eSolar has partnered with companies in USA and outside to build and license its technology to build power plants of multiple gigawatt capacity.However except for NRG Energy,none of the other partners (Ferrostaal exception) looks that certain given their experience.At least ACME and Penglai don’t look big enough to execute 100 MW leave alone 1-2 GW.eSolar has also got to prove itself with a running commercial plant.


NRG Energy, Inc. has partnered with eSolar to develop solar power plants with a total generation capacity of up to 500 MW at sites within California and across the Southwestern United States. Additionally, NRG has invested approximately $10 million for equity and associated development rights for three projects and a portfolio of power purchase agreements (PPAs) to develop, build, own and operate up to 11 eSolar modular solar generating units at these sites.

Its pilot plant is named as Sierra SunTower supplies 5 MW  of  electricity to Southern California Edison (SCE).It is built on 20 acres of land with 2 Power Towers and 24000 Heliostats.


ACME Group  has partnered with eSolar for 1 GW of solar thermal plants over the next 10 year


Penglai Electric, a privately-owned Chinese electrical power equipment manufacturer, has partnered with eSolar to build 2 GW of solar thermal power plants in China by 2021.

Rest of the World

Ferrostaal , a global power and industrial plant developer, has partnered with eSolar to deploy turnkey solar power plants in countries including Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa. Under the partnership, eSolar will provide solar field and receiver technology, while Ferrostaal will supply the power block, act as general contractor, and manage financing activities.

Source – eSolar

eSolar Stock IPO Prospects

eSolar has not been rumored to come out with an IPO soon.Like other solar startups like Enphase Energy it is holding its cards close to its chest.Anyway without a running commercial plant or any concrete plans of future profitability or revenues,its hard to value the company based on technology alone.Though some Green Startups have managed to do an IPO without any profits like A123 Systems,Gevo,Codexis many of those stocks  have crashed after their IPO.


Abhishek Shah

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