giovedì, giugno 22, 2006

Fiducia nel sole

Nanosolar Gets $100M for PV - Thin-film startup aims to build world’s largest solar factory. Nanosolar announced Wednesday it has completed a $75-million Series C round of financing and will use the money, plus government subsidies, to build the world’s largest photovoltaic solar factory. Combined with the subsidies, the total funding actually amounts to $100 million, the thin-film company said. Existing investors Mohr Davidow Ventures (MDV), Benchmark Capital, OnPoint Technologies, and Mitsui participated in the round. “These are seasoned PV investors that have already made money in PV,” said Erik Straser, a general partner with MDV. “That tells you that the opportunity is very unique because the people already know the business—and who have proven they can make money in this business—are putting money into Nanosolar. It’s an informed vote of confidence.” Nanosolar, a Red Herring 100 company, raised $20 million in a Series B round in June, and previously received government grants, including $10.5 million from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the Department of Defense (see Nanosolar Raises Funding , The Top 100 Private Companies: Nanosolar ). The Palo Alto, California-based company, formed in 2002 , got its seed funding from Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page , and Mr. Page’s brother, Carl Page. The factory that will bring Nanosolar’s thin-film technology to the market will have an annual capacity of 430 megawatts once it’s fully built, will churn out about 200 million cells per year, and will be located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nanosolar is also building a panel assembly factory designed to produce more than 1 million solar panels annually, which will be located in Berlin . Nanosolar has a thin-film solar technology that it claims is 10 times as efficient as traditional cells, and a printing-based manufacturing technique that it says will bring the price down to less than a dollar per watt, competitive with natural gas and peak electricity prices.