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14 August 2014

Hanergy completes acquisition of GaAs thin-film PV firm Alta Devices

Beijing-based clean-energy power generating firm Hanergy Holding Group Ltd (parent of thin-film photovoltaic module maker Hanergy Solar) has completed the acquisition of Alta Devices of Santa Clara, CA, USA.

Founded in 2007, Alta is a development-stage company focused on improving the production economics of high-efficiency solar photovoltaics. The firm fabricates gallium arsenide PV cells in a micron-thick thin-film that it then lifts off the growth GaAs substrate (which can then be reused multiple times to amortize its high cost). The thin-film cell can then be placed on a flexible substrate.

Alta has raised more than $120m in funding from investors including August Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Crosslink Capital, DAG Ventures, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Presidio Ventures, Technology Partners, Dow Chemical, Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), Good Energies, Energy Technology Ventures, and Constellation Energy.

Alta’s use of GaAs has allowed its single- and dual-junction solar cells to produce record conversion efficiencies of 28.8% and 30.8% respectively, as certified by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). On a same-surface-area basis, the firm’s cells are reckoned to produce a power output 2-3 times higher than standard flexible thin-film cells, 8% higher than mass-produced monocrystalline silicon cells, and 10% higher than multicrystalline silicon cells. Alta’s single-junction GaAs thin-film solar cells are already in production.

“Alta Devices’ thin-film solar technology allows more energy to be produced in lower light conditions than any other type of solar cell, giving it greater potential to power a wide range of mobile devices and equipment, from phones to cars,” comments Hanergy’s chairman & CEO Li Hejun.

“This successful acquisition is built upon Alta Devices’ and Hanergy’s shared belief that flexible, thin-film solar technology represents the future of the solar industry,” says Alta Devices’ president & CEO Chris Norris. “The combination of our world-class solar cell R&D capability and Hanergy’s technology, research and capital resources will help us further improve the performance of our technology, increase production capacity and expand applications,” he adds.  

Both companies’ R&D teams will join forces to further develop Alta Devices’ technology to serve the mobile and wearable tech market with high-efficiency solar-power solutions. The acquisition will build on Hanergy’s efforts in recent years to improve the efficiency and applicability of clean energy through the integration of thin-film solar technologies. In the last few years, Hanergy Solar has acquired three copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) PV firms: Germany’s Solibro GmbH (from Q.Cells SE) and US firms MiaSolé of Santa Clara, CA, and Global Solar Energy Inc (GSE) of Tucson, AZ. Now, Hanergy plans to expand the application of Alta’s products in mobile power applications, ranging from emergency charging of mobile phones to the automotive sector and the Internet of Things.

Following the acquisition, Alta will continue to operate independently as a subsidiary of Hanergy. Hanergy will also work with Alta to develop international markets and enhance its cooperation with key strategic customers.

In 2014 Hanergy was the only Chinese energy company named among the ‘World’s Smartest Companies’ by MIT Technology Review. In 2012 and 2013, the same publication named Alta Devices among the ‘World’s Most Disruptive Companies’.

See related items:

Hanergy secures $3.3bn in financing for renewable energy projects

Alta’s new dual-junction solar cell sets 30.8% efficiency record

Alta’s single-junction GaAs solar panel verified by NREL as 23.5% efficient

China’s Hanergy acquires US-based CIGS PV firm Global Solar Energy

China’s Hanergy completes acquisition of Silicon Valley CIGS PV firm MiaSolé

Hanergy to acquire Q.CELLS' CIGS PV subsidiary Solibro

Tags: Alta Devices GaAs PV Hanergy

Visit: www.hanergy.com

Visit: www.altadevices.com

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