10 February 2010


SoloPower appoints Harris as CEO

Maker of thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and lightweight flexible solar modules SoloPower Inc of San Jose, CA, USA has appointed Tim Harris president and CEO, replacing Lou DiNardo, who served as interim CEO from July 2009. DiNardo remains as SoloPower’s executive chairman of the board of directors.

With more than 20 years executive experience, Harris will lead the firm as it commercializes its flexible solar modules and expands manufacturing capacity to enter high-volume production later this year.

“SoloPower has focused on the development of innovative, lightweight flexible modules which add significant value in commercial and industrial rooftop applications, utility scale ground mounted facilities, and the emerging Building Integrated PV market (BIPV). The company has demonstrated product efficiency that exceeds current alternatives and is building the infrastructure necessary for commercialization and high-volume manufacturing,” said DiNardo. “The company now is in a position to advance to its next milestones and raise its next round of funding to expand capacity. We’re confident that Tim is uniquely qualified to lead this charge.”

“My career has been focused on building teams and ramping great technology products in cost-sensitive environments,” said Harris. “I look forward to working with the talented team at SoloPower as we all enter this exciting next stage of product advancement and company growth.”

Most recently, Harris was CEO and president of Celerity, a manufacturer of capital equipment for the semiconductor and solar equipment industries. Previously, he was CEO at Komag, COO at venture-backed iolon, and senior VP, World Wide Technology at Seagate, where he was responsible for the firm’s wafer fabs, slider development and operations, and OEM Tape Head Business.

SoloPower says that, using its patented electroplating process, it has achieved 13.76% cell efficiency on small area (~0.5 cm2) cells on flexible stainless steel substrates. Furthermore, the firm recently demonstrated similar results on larger cells: 13.4% efficiency on 12 cm2 lab cells and 11.7% efficiency on 178 cm2 cells from its roll-to-roll manufacturing line. Using its CIGS-based flexible cells, SoloPower has also developed a flexible module, which its says has demonstrated aperture efficiency of 10.74%.

Just last month, the firm’s CIGS thin-film flexible module passed a damp-heat test, achieving over 1000 hours at 85% humidity and 85°C while showing minimal (<5% Pmax) power degradation. SoloPower expects to submit its first flexible module for independent certification by April 2010.

At present, the firm is in the process of raising funds to support the build-out of an additional nameplate 60MW of capacity at its existing manufacturing facility. The funds raised are also expected to be used as the equity-match portion of a Loan Guarantee from the Department of Energy in support of a new nameplate 250MW manufacturing facility in San Jose, CA, USA.

See related item:

SoloPower recruits VP of product development and general manager of sales

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