French nuclear energy giant Areva has jumped into the U.S. renewable energy market with the acquisition of Ausra Inc., a Mountain View, Calif., solar power plant start-up.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Areva executive Anil Srivastava said the sale price was in line with the $418 million that rival Siemens of Germany spent last year to acquire Solel Solar Systems, an Israeli solar power plant builder.
That would be a decent payday for Ausra's investors, which include Silicon Valley venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Khosla Ventures.
Ausra relocated to Silicon Valley from Australia in 2007, having announced plans to build a gigawatt's worth of solar thermal power plants. The start-up raised about $130 million from investors, but last year abandoned plans to build its own solar projects. Instead, the company said it would focus on supplying equipment to other developers.