Google invests in BrightSource's steam and mirrors

BrightSource Energy, a renewable energy startup that wants to build solar thermal plants which use sunlight reflected from mirrors to heat water to steam and power electricity-generating turbines, has pulled in $115 million. The investment was led by Google.org, Google's quasi-nonprofit arm; VantagePoint; BP; Statoil Hydro; and Black River, and brings the Oakland-based startup's total funding to $160 million. The company has already signed a contract to supply local monopoly Pacific Gas & Electric with 900 megawatts of power by 2016.

Hopefully some of that power will go to San Francisco, which is already struggling to meet its power needs, and working on building new fossil fuel-powered plants. Because the City's hunky god-mayor, Gavin Newsom, wants to build a fleet of electric cars and a network of charging stations, and that power currently comes from coal and oil. Thankfully, Newsom is practically BFF with PG&E, so surely they can bask together in the warm rays of publicity and profits, respectively. (Illustration by BrightSource Energy)