1 June 2012

CIGS PV firm Nanosolar raises $70m

Nanosolar Inc of San Jose, CA, USA, which makes thin-film photovoltaic cells and panels based on depositing copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) and nanoparticle inks on flexible aluminum foil substrates (using roll-to-roll solar cell printing), has raised $70m in new capital. This follows a $20m round of financing closed in February.

The latest financing will be used to expand production of its solar cells and panels, support R&D designed to deliver greater efficiency, and drive faster commercialization of the firm’s solar technology. The over-subscribed round was funded by current and new investors, including OnPoint Technologies Inc, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Ohana Holdings LLC, as well as international Family Offices.

“The Family Offices that joined the round have a long-term view of the solar market and will help Nanosolar scale its business faster,” says Guido Polko, executive chairman of Nanosolar’s board of directors. “With this latest round of funding, Nanosolar will be able to continue ramping up its production capabilities and achieve a faster time-to-market with its products,” he adds. “The money also will allow us to deepen our R&D efforts aimed at achieving even greater efficiency, and significantly expand our employee base in both Europe and the USA.” As well as operating what is claimed to be the industry’s first roll-to-roll solar cell printing factory (in San Jose), Nanosolar has a panel-assembly factory in Luckenwalde, Germany.

The firm says that, by printing CIGS inks on low-cost aluminum foil, it is using its proprietary high-throughput roll-to-roll printable semiconductor technology to enable what is claimed to be the world’s lowest-cost thin-film solar panels. The approach minimizes the use of expensive, high-vacuum manufacturing equipment, and enables Nanosolar solar cells and panels to reach efficiencies competitive with crystalline silicon panels, the firm adds.

Nanosolar currently has manufacturing capacity in excess of 100MW, with committed deliveries to multiple international customers in the 2-11MW range. The firm has achieved lab-tested top cell efficiency of 17.1%, as certified by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

“Nanosolar has proven that it continues to effectively execute on its product roadmap,” says Nanosolar’s CEO Eugenia Corrales.

Tags: Nanosolar CIGS thin-film PV panels CIGS

Visit: www.nanosolar.com

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