Bloom Energy Receives Investment

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted September 16, 2011

Bloom Energy is the maker of Bloom boxes, devices that contain solid oxide fuel cells, which can use a variety of fuels including natural gas and biomass to create energy.

And in recent news, this growing company has been valued at nearly $3 billion.  $2.7 billion, to be exact.

This news came after an announcement that Bloom Energy will receive $150 million in new venture capital, adding to the $450 million they’ve already received from a number of private investors, reported CNN Money.

Bloom Energy has not received government funding from the Department of Energy, and all investments come from private companies, though their operations in California have allowed them some state subsidies and tax credits.

Though the company is still trying to make a name for itself, it has received quite a bit of hype in striking deals with some prominent customers.  These include Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Ebay (NASDAQ: EBAY), and Walmart (NYSE: WAL), among others.

Though it is not the first to develop fuel cells, the company has made itself competitive through its energy service program, in which customers may sign contracts without paying for the actual cell, describes CNN Money.

The problem is competition with other utilities.  Though the fuel these Bloom boxes burn is cleaner, it still mainly uses natural gas, a fossil fuel.

And without government subsidies, it can cost around $0.03 per kilowatt more than the average utility, says Smart Planet.

The fuel stacks that make up Bloom boxes also have a short life span – between 2 and 5 years – which racks up maintenance costs.

And yet it’s much cleaner than some other dirty energy options.

Besides, it can use fuels besides natural gas.

There have been IPO rumors for Bloom since 2009, and this has been speculated again this year, even though CFO Bill Kurtz has denied these rumors, says Smart Planet.

Little information was released about Bloom Energy’s newest investment, though major investors include New Enterprise Associates, Advanced Equities, and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS).

That’s all for now,


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