Solaria Raises $22 M to Deliver Solar Technology that Increases Production

Another solar energy company has successfully raised venture capital funds. This time, Solaria, a solar technology company, announced the completion of $22 million in financing.

The funding round includes investments from venture capital firms Sigma Partners and NGEN Partners, Q-Cells AG, and Moser Baer, an Indian manufacturer of removable optical storage media. With the new backing, the company expects to deliver technology that enables the solar industry to produce two to three times the number of photovoltaic (PV) modules from the same amount of silicon material used in today’s conventional modules. Suvi Sharma, Solaria CEO, said that because the manufacturing process is highly automated, akin to semiconductor assembly, they are able to process more quickly than current processes. The technology fits seamlessly into the existing PV supply chain; has the same form, fit, and function of traditional solar PV offerings; and can be deployed in commercial, industrial and residential rooftop and ground-mounted applications. “Our technology captures the light onto smaller surfaces using optical concentration,” said Sharma. “While most concentrators have to track the sun to be efficient, Solaria’s does not.” According to Wade Woodson, managing director of Sigma Partners, “Solaria’s low-concentration solar technology promises to dramatically reduce the photovoltaic (PV) industry’s cost of silicon-based solar modules.” “We believe our investment will help ensure that Solaria’s technology can drive down the cost of solar PV and further accelerate the growth and expansion of the solar industry,” said Anton Milner, CEO of Q-Cells AG. “This infusion of capital will help us to achieve Solaria’s goal of enabling low-cost, high-efficiency PV modules and systems for our customers,” said Sharma. “We are currently working with select commercialization partners and are on schedule to enter high-volume production in 2007.”
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