A U.S. semiconductor company will purchase a solar energy firm, which will make it the world’s largest independent solar panel integrator.SOMERSET, New Jersey (US) 2002-02-12 [SolarAccess.com] EMCORE Corp has reached an agreement to acquire certain assets of the Applied Solar Division business of Tecstar Inc. Under the agreement, EMCORE will pay US$21 million for the solar cell business and operations of Tecstar. “EMCORE has the most advanced solar cell technology available today,” says president and CEO Reuben Richards. “By acquiring Tecstar, we are combining our industry-leading technology with Tecstar’s proven flight heritage to offer manufacturers an integrated solution to meet all of their satellite power needs from a single source.” The purchase will vertically integrate all aspects of satellite solar panel construction within EMCORE, and provide the New Jersey firm with solar panel manufacturing expertise that dates back to 1958. The acquisition allows EMCORE to expand its product offerings to include cover interconnect cells and solar panels, and to penetrate the market for satellite communications. “We are excited that the Tecstar heritage will continue under the leadership of EMCORE, where our team can combine its experience with EMCORE’s innovative photovoltaic technology to create the best solar panels available,” says Bryon Borgardt of Tecstar. “We are confident that EMCORE’s leading solar cell technology will provide the building blocks to achieve greater satellite performance, while Tecstar’s history of success with major satellite providers will enhance these efforts.” The solar panel array is a critical sub-assembly in satellite manufacturing. The higher the efficiency in a PV panel, the more transponders a satellite can support, which increases revenue for the satellite. EMCORE currently manufactures a radiation hard solar cell that has a beginning-of-life efficiency of 27.5 percent. Tecstar was the first company to manufacture solar cells for space applications. The acquisition will be done through a Chapter 11 reorganization of Tecstar.