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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 attract investors from around the world to its promising concentrated solar power (CSP) technology, but it faced the twin challenges of a remote location and a busy time for solar industry news.

Solution: We designed, ran and messaged all aspects of the launch. 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 challenge of the remote location by recruiting VIP speakers, deploying a satellite truck for use by national cable networks and developing pre-packaged content and pre-event phone briefings.
  • Provided 10 days of on-the-ground support, including logistics for customer and investor attendees, handling media inquiries from as far away as Australia and preparing company spokespersons for interviews.

 Results: By generating extensive national broadcast and print news coverage, the opening of the Kimberlina represented an iconic milestone for the highly competitive CSP industry. The visibility from the opening made the plant a key differentiator for the company as it approached possible acquisition by major global energy players.

  • We secured five live interviews with FOX Business and Bloomberg Television networks, as well as extensive national and local television and print coverage, including CNN Headline News and the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • The event garnered online news attention at major financial sites, including The New York Times/ VentureBeat and Fortune.