The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Update: Sol Voltaics Adds Backers for Solar Panel Nanowire Tech

Sol Voltaics, the Swedish startup that aims to apply nanowire materials to solar modules to dramatically hike their efficiency, has secured another $9.4 million in its current equity round, bringing the total to $15.6 million. This officially accomplishes funding goals for 2013 funding, and is enough to carry it to pilot production, according to the company.

This latest round was led by Norwegian investment company Umoe which had earlier invested at "an incubation level," according to the company; it’s now one of the majority shareholder alongside Industrifonden, Nano Future Invest, and Foundation Asset Management. Also making a smaller private investment in this latest funding was Kent Janér, CEO of hedge fund Nektar Asset Management. New Sol Voltaics board members include Umoe's Thomas Moe Borsteth, and an independent director: Kang Sun, former CEO of JA Solar and current CEO of Amprius.

A quick refresher: back in April the company unveiled its gallium-arsenide nanowire ink mix that promises to make solar panels up to 25 percent more efficient and more cost-effective. The end result: a tiny bit of the ink (1 gram covers an entire panel) can transform a 17 percent efficient module costing $0.60/W into a 22 percent efficient module at $0.75/W, which in the field turns a 100 MW installation into a 125 MW installation.

The company initially raised $11 million from a collection of private and public investors, and this summer added another $6.2 million (41 million Swedish kroner) from the Swedish Energy Agency. Sol Voltaics CEO Dave Epstein likened that to a DoE grant; it's a conditional, but nonrecourse loan that is "very inexpensive to us and doesn't have to be paid back until after we're making money."

Also on board as an investor is Erik Sauar, former CTO of REC. "He's the guy who's going to help us get into a production environment," Epstein said. "He understands what is needed from the module manufacturing side." (Alf Bjorseth, founder and former CEO of REC, already is a Sol Voltaics investor.)

The company had expected to pull in another $10-15 million in equity investment, mostly venture capital or private equity, by the end of this year, enough to carry to a working pilot line and pilot production. Epstein cited interest from four commercial companies in various parts of the value chain, from equipment manufacturers to panel makers to a downstream builder of power plants. Such participation wouldn't necessarily be simply writing a check, he noted; there are other ways to support a technology development investment, such as helping to build out a manufacturing line. From there the company will need "probably another $20-30 million to build up a full production line," which it expects to raise in 2015, he added.

Noting a recent smattering of updates from startups pursuing various ways to vastly reduce the amount of silicon used (Solexel, Crystal Solar, Scifinity), Epstein acknowledged discussions with some of them about potential partnerships. From Sol Voltaics' standpoint, the technologies are "perfectly compatible" since a silicon base is a silicon base no matter the thickness, and the nanowire ink would be applied at the final laminating step. He did note that the thinness of these kerfless silicon wafers makes them flexible; "by our nature our nanowires make a flexible film," which has interesting possibilities — such as a flexible module with over 20 percent efficiency, which "is unheard of right now," he said. But he quickly added that such kerfless methods still have to prove that they can compete cost-wise with regular silicon.

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

RELATED ARTICLES

Electricity Deregulation

Japan Electricity Deregulation: Birth of Municipally Owned Electric Utilities

Junko Movellan, Correspondent The upcoming retail electricity deregulation in Japan will create a way for Japanese municipal governments to produce...
Solar panel

REC Joins O Capital in Egypt to Tap Solar Panel Market in Middle East, Africa

Anna Hirtenstein, Bloomberg REC Solar ASA has signed a deal with O Capital, the renewable energy arm of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Hold...
Solar PV

OneEnergy Seeks Authority to Build 6 MW Solar PV Facility in Southern Maryland

Jennifer Delony OneEnergy Renewables is seeking regulatory approval in Maryland to build a 6 MW solar PV facility in Somerset County,...
Solar water heating

California Regulators Propose Expansion of Eligibility Requirements for Solar Water Heating Program

Jennifer Delony The California Public Utilities Commission has proposed expanding the eligibility requirements for customers seeking ...

PRESS RELEASES

Canadian Solar Wins Five Solar Power Projects Totaling 185 MW in Brazil

These power projects were won under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the B...

$100 Off of 5-day Advanced PV Project Experience. Download a Topic Schedule.

Assemble, ground, energize, and commission a complete grid-tied SolarEdge system from s...

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd talks politics of fear vs. politics of hope

Rudd, who led the Australian parliament from 2007 to 2010, told the Summit audience tha...

Intersolar AWARD „Solar Projects in India“ – Applications being accepted until September 18

The Intersolar AWARD in the category Solar Projects in India honors projects in the fie...

FEATURED BLOGS

Washington, DC Bridges the Solar Gap

The District of Columbia has enjoyed 15 years of strong economic growth. But prosperity is spread unevenly across the...

Sell Through Hypothesis

You first learned to hypothesize, or make educated guesses, in grade school science class. Now it’s time to ref...

Cronimet / THEnergy study: In solar for mines size does not always matter - Reducing CAPEX with energy efficiency and load shifting

Munich, September 2015. Mining companies are constantly gaining interest in solar solutions because frequently solar ...

Final Program Now Available for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo - Final Program from

FINANCIAL NEWS

Jim is Contributing Editor for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, covering the solar and wind beats. He previously was associate editor for Solid State Technology and Photovoltaics World, and has covered semiconductor manufacturing and related industries, ...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetrati...

Solar Frontier Offsite Office at Solar Power International (2 mins....

Solar Frontier will be hosting an offsite meeting room offering our gues...

PV-Diesel Hybrid Systems to Reduce Diesel Demand

Substantial fuel cost saving potential has made PV technology the centre...

COMPANY BLOGS

Sell Through Hypothesis

You first learned to hypothesize, or make educated guesses, in grade sch...

Vacancy? No Problem!

Have you ever tried to sell an efficiency product or service to a prospe...

Going The Extra Mile

Selling efficiency takes perseverance, creativity, and a willingness to ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS