Siva Power, formerly Solexant, has survived a three-year glut in solar panel production that knocked out many other solar startups and now is developing new technology that it hopes will make it a major player. So reports Forbes.
As Solexant, it was piloting a process of printing cadmium-telluride nanocrystals on metal foil to make solar panels, and in 2009 it turned it’s attention to boosting its sunlight-to-electricity conversion rate with plans for large-scale production in Oregon. However, the oversupply of solar panels, thanks in large part to Chinese manufacturers, sunk those plans, and in 2011 Solexant’s directors brought in a new CEO to look for a new path.
The company, reborn as Siva, now sees gold in a process of putting a compound of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS) directly on glass to make solar panels. It’s other key strategy is to forego the typical production process of starting with a 5-10 megawatt pilot production line and jump right to a 300-megawatt-per-year production line, what CEO Brad Mattson calls “crazy scale.”
Siva aims to produce solar panels with a 15% average efficiency at $0.40 per watt, which Mattson believes is possible after the 300-megawatt line has run a full capacity for two years. No site has yet be chosen for the production line, but Mattson says such a lofty goal will require him to raise about $100 million.
That figure exceeds what the company has raised to date, according to SEC filings. The largest single fundraising came in June of 2010, when then-Solexant raised the first close of a $41.5 million Round C from Olympus Capital Partners, DBL Investors, Brichmere Ventures, Trident Capital, Firelake Capital and Medley Partners, closing $12.5 million of a $64-million-dollar round.
Solexant received $23.47 million in Series D funding in the summer of 2011, and in the fall of 2008 it got $18.2 million in Series B funding. It started fundraising in August of 2007, receiving $4.3 million in Series A funding.
Most recently, in February 2012, it raised a relatively modest $30,000 in venture round funding.
To read the full Forbes article cited in this story, click here