DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Former Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL) Chief Executive Richard Kelly has joined the board of California solar-power developer BrightSource Energy Inc. as chairman, succeeding John Bryson, the company said Wednesday.
Kelly retired last year from Minneapolis-based Xcel, which operates utilities in Minnesota, Colorado and other states.
Bryson was chairman of BrightSource's board before President Barack Obama tapped him last year to become Secretary of Commerce. Bryson was chairman and chief executive of Edison International (EIX) until 2008, when he retired.
Kelly said he was "extremely excited" to join BrightSource, adding that he sees the company as "uniquely positioned" to meet increasing global demand for clean energy.
BrightSource obtained a $1.6 billion govenment-loan guarantee last year to help finance construction of a 390-megawatt solar-thermal power plant in the California desert.
The privately held company plans to build additional solar-power plants to supply California utilities owned by Edison and PG&E Corp. (PCG).
BrightSource backers include VantagePoint Capital Partners, Morgan Stanley (MS), BP PLC (BP.LN, BP), Chevron Corp. (CVX) and Google Inc. (GOOG), among others.
-By Cassandra Sweet, Dow Jones Newswires; 415-439-6468; firstname.lastname@example.org