FREE subscription
Subscribe for free to receive each issue of Semiconductor Today magazine and weekly news brief.


11 July 2008


Intel leads €85m investment round in Sulfurcell

Sulfurcell Solartechnik GmbH of Berlin, Germany, which makes solar modules based on thin-film copper indium sulphide (CIS), has raised €85m (about $133m) in an equity fundraising round led by Intel Capital, the investment arm of chip maker Intel of Santa Clara, CA, USA, which has invested €24m. Other investment included €38m from Climate Change Capital Private Equity and Zouk Ventures (both of London, UK), AIG (Zurich, Switzerland), Demeter Partners (Paris, France) and BankInvest (Copenhagen, Denmark), plus €23m coming from existing investors.

Sulfurcell was founded in 2001 by Ilka Luck and Nikolaus Meyer of the Hahn-Meitner-Institut (now the Helmholtz Centre Berlin for Materials and Energy), and in 2002 raised €9m from private investors, followed in 2003 by R&D grants of €7m from the Senate of Berlin. The firm subsequently set up pilot production, leading to market introduction in 2005. Sulfurcell now has 120 staff.

Sulfurcell’s pilot-production line has demonstrated product performance and process scalability to enable future high-volume supply, it is claimed. “We have an aggressive growth strategy and the funding will enable us to respond to the rapidly increasing demand for thin-film solar modules in all market segments,” says CEO Dr Nikolaus Meyer. The firm will therefore use the latest funding to expand its production with a new plant in Berlin that will have a capacity of 75MW.

“Intel Capital invested in Sulfurcell because CIS/CIGSe [copper indium sulphide/copper indium gallium diselenide] solar modules have demonstrated some of the highest energy conversion efficiencies of all thin-film materials,” says Heiko von Dewitz, investment director of Intel Capital’s cleantech sector in Europe and Israel. “They also enable emerging applications such as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), where solar modules are integrated in the core structure of roofs and walls,” he adds. “Germany is a leader in adopting photovoltaics as an alternative energy source and we believe Sulfurcell is well positioned to contribute to broader adoption in Germany and in other countries worldwide.”

See related item:

Thin film to take 28% of PV market by 2012

Search: Solar modules Thin-film CIS