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Nanosolar Raises $300 Million for Thin-Film Solar


By Stefanie Olsen
Green Tech - CNET News
August 27, 2008


Nanosolar, a maker of thin-film solar panels, said that it has raised $300
million to accelerate production of solar-power facilities in Berlin and San
Jose, Calif.

The round of funding, which was completed this spring but announced Wednesday by
Nanosolar CEO Martin Roscheisen on the company's blog, brings the total money
the six-year-old company has raised to half of a billion dollars. Nanosolar is
one of the darlings of the clean-tech investing craze.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Nanosolar's strategic investors include power company
AES Corp., equity firm the Carlyle Group, and electric utility company EDF--the
three of which formed AES Solar as part of the deal, Roscheisen said. Those
alliances will presumably help Nanosolar develop utility-scale solar power that
would be cost efficient.

Other investors were hedge fund Lone Pine Capital, the Skoll Foundation, and
eBay founder Pierre Omidyar's fund, he said.

"The new capital will allow us to accelerate production expansion for our 430
megawatt San Jose factory and our 620 megawatt Berlin factory," Roscheisen
wrote.

He did not say when the facilities will be complete. But he said that the
funding will help the company meet demand for the thin-film solar technology it
introduced in December. Nanosolar is one of several companies betting on a
photovoltaic-alternative known as copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), which
purportedly convert more sunlight into energy than other types of thin-film
materials.

"The alliance for solar utility power is the outcome of a year long effort on
behalf of our strategic partners examining the solar industry, investigating
virtually every solar company on the planet, and conducting one of the most
thorough due diligence efforts," he wrote.

 

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