$19.2 Million To See Solar Junction Move Into High Volume Manufacturing
The investment and partnership is to scale up manufacturing of Solar Junction's exceptional record cell which achieves 43.5% efficiency. "I am ecstatic about the partnership with IQE and the closing of this current round," said Jim Weldon, Solar Junction founder and CEO. "In the face of all the externalities hindering solar – pricing, overseas competition, financial markets – Solar Junction has multi-megawatt orders, the financing, the manufacturing capacity and the world record for cell efficiency that will catapult CPV into newer and bigger markets." San Jose based Solar Junction closes its largest round to date with investments from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV), Draper Fidher Jurvetson (DFJ) and IQE. With the strategic partnership, Solar Junction is now able to meet demand and fulfil current and future orders with a number of CPV companies. Solar Junction will continue to engage with additional module manufacturers to further technological advances within the CPV market. Solar Junction's world record efficiency and sustainable efficiency roadmap exceeding 50% within the decade is a key enabler to reduce CPV module costs to meet the U.S. Department of Energy's $ / 1 watt objective. Solar Junction is currently manufacturing CPV cells at a multi-point production efficiency advantage over current market leaders. "This is a potentially transformational opportunity. The CPV market has reached an inflection point in terms of cost comparisons with fossil fuels and is promising impressive growth potential," said Drew Nelson, CEO of IQE. "A combination of Solar Junction's core materials IP and technology, together with our own IP and manufacturing capabilities, provides a compelling route to significantly higher cell efficiency and cost effective, high volume production." Solar Junction sought a strategic epi partner, and selected IQE due to its proven expertise in high volume epitaxy, its established reputation in the CPV market and IP, complements Solar Junction's own technology roadmap to higher efficiencies. IQE is investing $5 mil and receives an exclusive multi-year epi wafer supply contract with Solar Junction. "Another Silicon Valley success story and it couldn't come at a better time," said Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino. "Jim Weldon and his team at Solar Junction are leading the U.S. in innovating our way out of the cost per megawatt wars in solar." Solar Junction's cells incorporate the company's proprietary adjustable spectrum lattice-matched, A-SLAM technology. This financing and partnership enables Solar Junction to scale to high volume manufacturing of its world record efficiency cells for the benefit of its customers, while continuing to manufacture in the U.S. IQE has its fingers in a lot of pies. These include the manufacture of compound semiconductor substrates, III-V MOCVD, MBE and III-nitride growth to name but a few. This latest venture could see it as a big player in the CPV solar market.