Stion Expands With TSMC To Create 500 Jobs
Stion, a manufacturer of high-efficiency thin-film Copper Indium Gallium Sulfur-Selenide(CIGS) solar panels has announced a production partnership with TSMC of Taiwan. The firm will commence a 100 MW expansion of its San Jose, California facility following the close of its $70 million Series D financing. Stion had previously raised $44.6 million in equity financing.
Under the agreements, Stion licenses and transfers its thin-film CIGSS technology to TSMC, while TSMC will provide a certain quantity of solar modules to Stion using the technology. TSMC and Stion will also work together to enhance the thin film technology through joint development.
In addition, VentureTech Alliance, a TSMC affiliate, will invest US$50 million to take a 21% stake in Stion.
“TSMC has evaluated a number of thin-film technologies and believes by working with Stion we will gain a robust thin film technology with inherent low cost structure," said YC Chao, TSMC’s Senior Director of New Businesses.
Chet Farris, Stion’s President and CEO, commented, “Beyond our 100 MW production facility, the strategic partnerships result in a very capital efficient production model as we will gain access to a certain amount of capacity without additional capital commitment from Stion.
He added, “We are pleased to form a win-win relationship with TSMC, a world-class company. The collaboration enables Stion to scale its operations, leverages both companies’ strengths to achieve market leadership and to deliver on the promise of efficient, affordable solar energy."
“Working with Stion, TSMC gains a robust thin film technology with inherent low cost structure. With TSMC’s R&D capabilities and manufacturing expertise, we believe we can achieve long-term overall leadership in solar PV solutions, and we are happy to be able to contribute to a greener economy," said Rick Tsai, TSMC’s President of New Businesses.
“In the crowded field of thin film solar with mostly undifferentiated technology, Stion has distinguished itself with the highest efficiency production ready technology on one square meter, 120 W to 130 W monolithic panels. Stion will show how a PV startup gets to positive cash flow with a $100m dollar equity investment," said Vinod Khosla, Partner at Khosla Ventures.
Stion’s panels are specifically designed for use in all major applications, including commercial / government, residential, utility and off-grid. The panels are produced using monolithically integrated circuits and offer a number of advantages over competing products, including high efficiency, a convenient form factor (2 ft x 5 ft), improved performance in partial shading, and superb aesthetics.
As part of the expansion, Stion expects to bring more than 500 direct and indirect jobs to the region in 2010 and 2011.