20 September 2011

Korea’s SK invests $50m in CIGS PV maker HelioVolt

SK TIC (Technology Innovation Company) and SK Innovation (members of Seoul-based energy, chemicals and telecoms firm SK Group, which is Korea’s third largest conglomerate) have agreed to collaborate with HelioVolt Corp of Austin, TX, USA, which makes copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic modules for the commercial rooftop and utility markets, on technology development and global manufacturing expansion.

HelioVolt was founded in 2001 by Dr Billy J. Stanbery based on his proprietary FASST manufacturing process for rapid printing of thin-film CIGS material, either directly onto glass substrates for solar modules or onto flexible plastic substrate for embedding in building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products (e.g. architectural glass and roofing tiles). 

SK Group has now invested $50m to expand HelioVolt Austin’s manufacturing operations and has begun collaboration to develop the CIGS PV maker’s global capabilities. In connection with the transaction, Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as exclusive placement agent to HelioVolt. To date, the firm has raised more than $200m in total to fund its move to volume production and international expansion.

“We are happy to be able to leverage SK leadership across our many complementary industries in order to create an outstanding global partnership with the HelioVolt team,” says SK TIC’s CEO Dr SH Park. “SK’s technical and engineering expertise will provide HelioVolt with tremendous market, manufacturing and supply chain access,” reckons SK Innovation’s chief technology officer Dr DS Kim.

HelioVolt says that, through the new partnership, its technical progress and rapid module cost reduction are providing SK an opportunity to play a key role in the rapidly growing global renewable energy market.

“The solar energy market is going through a transition period — one that is creating unprecedented opportunities,” says HelioVolt’s chairman & founder Dr BJ Stanbery. “We welcome SK’s manufacturing, engineering and operational expertise in order to accelerate commercialization of our technology and business expansion,” he adds. 

Tags: HelioVolt CIGS PV

Visit: www.heliovolt.com

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