An SEC filing today revealed that SoloPower of San Jose, Calif. raised another $51.6 million venture investment to design, manufacture and distribute their thin-film solar technology.
The company makes flexible solar panels of the copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) variety. This technology is lighter weight, and flexible compared to polycrystalline silicon cell solar equipment. As an engineer from GridPoint recently told TechCrunch, flexible thin-film solar panels can be installed in where more rigid, heavier options won’t work.
According to SoloPower’s website:
[The company] uses a proprietary electroplating-based process to manufacture its CIGS cells on flexible metal foil. The devices are then processed in a moduling line and laminated in an encapsulation system that provides a moisture barrier and environmental integrity. The company expects…to address the commercial and industrial rooftop and distributed solar power generation markets.
This fall, SoloPower attained safety certifications from Underwriter Laboratories (UL) — an organization that tests and certifies product safety internationally — and others that enabled it to sell in new markets. Its current customers (as of Dec. 2010) are based in: Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, and Korea, and multiple locations in North America.
Last February, SoloPower raised about $45 million in debt financing. It is also seeking a possible $190 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy to grow its manufacturing business, and the Portland Business Journal reports today, a $20 million state energy loan in Oregon to build a plant in Portland.
SoloPower’s new venture round came from its prior backers: Crosslink Capital, Convexa and Hudson Clean Energy Partners, according to the filing.
The Department of Energy’s overarching mission is to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States; to promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission; and to ensure the environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex.
Crosslink Capital is a leading stage-independent venture capital and growth equity firm with over $1.5 billion in assets. Crosslink, which traces its roots back to 1989, was among the first and largest investment firms in the U.S. to integrate public and private growth investing in three families of funds: venture capital funds, long/short hedge funds and a unique hybrid crossover fund. This strategy allows Crosslink to partner with its portfolio companies on a long-term basis. With more than 20...