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Launching a Solar Power Plant

Client: AREVA Solar

Challenge: AREVA Solar (then-Ausra) needed a high-profile media launch event for its new Kimberlina Solar Thermal Power Plant in Bakersfield, CA. The company needed to use the event to not only attract investors from around the world to its promising concentrated solar power (CSP) technology, but it needed to secure community support to expand its future operations.

Solution: We designed, ran and messaged all aspects of the launch event. Our plan positioned Kimberlina as a “turning point” for the industry by emphasizing its “next generation” technology and that its opening was the first CSP plant in California in 20 years. In executing the event, we:

  • Crafted a media outreach strategy that overcame the remote location by recruiting VIP speakers, including then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. We also deployed a satellite truck, pre-packaged content and pre-event phone briefings to bring the story to national business news outlets.
  • Provided 10 days of on-the-ground support, including securing event attendance from local community and business leaders. We also handled all logistics for customer and investor attendees, handling media inquiries from as far away as Australia, and preparing company spokespeople for interviews.

Results: The event generated extensive national broadcast and print coverage, including FOX Business, Bloomberg Television, CNN Headline News, The New York Times, VentureBeat and Fortune. It also generated front-page local news coverage that swept the local television market. The national coverage positioned the project as a growth milestone for what was then a highly competitive CSP industry. The local coverage quelled local opposition that had begun to brew as the date of the event approached.