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Solar Developer Secures $70 Million in Venture Financing

Eugenia Corrales (LinkedIn.com)

Eugenia Corrales (LinkedIn.com)

Nanosolar Inc. in San Jose, California says it has raised $70 million in new capital for further research and development and to expand production. This later-stage investment round includes current and new investors OnPoint Technologies, Inc., Mohr Davidow Ventures, Ohana Holdings LLC, and Family Offices. In February, the company secured $20 million in venture financing from Mohr Davidow Ventures, OnPoint Technologies, and Aeris Capital.

The company plans to use proceeds from the round to support research and development to deliver greater efficiency and faster commercialization of the company’s solar technology. The financing will also be used to expand production of its thin film solar cells and panels. Commenting on the new funding, Nanosolar CEO Eugenia Corrales (pictured left) says, “Nanosolar has proven that it continues to effectively execute on its product roadmap and has established itself as a provider of world-class solar solutions.”

Nanosolar designs and manufactures thin film solar cells and panels based on a technology similar to printing with inks made of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium, as well as nanoparticle inks. Nanosolar operates what it says is the industry’s first roll-to-roll solar cell printing factory at its headquarters in San Jose and a panel-assembly factory in Luckenwalde, Germany.

The printing-like manufacturing process, says Nanosolar, minimizes the use of expensive, high vacuum manufacturing equipment, and enables Nanosolar solar cells and panels to reach efficiencies competitive with crystalline silicon panels. National Renewable Energy Laboratory has certified its top-cell efficiency at 17.1 percent.

The company’s lead product is its Nanosolar Utility Panel that aims to provide utility-scale peak power at competitive prices. Nanosolar says the panel is the industry’s highest-current thin panel, by a factor of 6 .The testing and engineering services company TÜV Rheinland has certified the panel at 1,500 volts. It also carried UL certification for electrical safety and fire resistance.

Nanosolar has sold its solar energy equipment to customers in the U.S. and Europe. Last month, Camp Roberts, a California National Guard training facility, installed a 1 megawatt solar system. In October, an Ohio National Guard base installed a similar, but smaller system. Last year, the company signed long term supply agreements for the utility panel with Belectric of Kolitzheim, Germany; EDF Energies Nouvelles of Paris, France; and Plain Energy of Munich, Germany.

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