RoseStreet Labs & Sumitomo Chemical Announce Joint Solar Cell Venture

October 31, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

RoseStreet Labs, LLC (RSL) & Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. (Sumitomo) announced a joint venture, RSL Energy, Inc., for the development and manufacturing of full spectrum solar cells for the renewable energy markets. The joint venture will be headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

RSL Energy is commercializing next-generation technology utilizing full spectrum solutions that can potentially achieve practical efficiencies above 48% in both single junction and multi-junction devices. RSL Energy has exclusive patent licenses from both Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Cornell University for unique semiconductor devices that use a significantly larger fraction of the solar spectrum compared to existing products.

RSL Energy will commercialize Berkeley Lab's multi-band technology which incorporates a unique new semiconductor material that can achieve the efficiencies of a triple junction device with the manufacturing cost and simplicity of a single junction device. In addition, RSL Energy is also commercializing the InGaN multi-junction technology of Cornell and Berkeley Lab, which is expected to provide outstanding thermal and radiation properties necessary for next generation concentrator based photovoltaics (CPV's) utilized in distributed energy power generation. RSL Energy will perform R&D and product development during 2007 and expects to have its first prototypes for field testing in 2008 in the CPV distributed energy, flat panel, space and architectural applications.

RSL Energy will leverage RoseStreet Labs' Phoenix-based R&D Laboratory and its high volume semiconductor bumping foundry, FlipChip International, to produce a competitive entry for full spectrum solar cells into the rapidly growing global renewable energy market.

Bob Forcier, President and CEO of RoseStreet Labs, said, "We are very proud to have Sumitomo Chemical as our partner in this solar energy venture. With our strategic relationship with Sumitomo Chemical and the Berkeley Lab and Cornell breakthroughs in photovoltaic devices, we plan to leapfrog advances in solar cell applications. We believe RSL Energy can provide a unique product solution for a broad range of renewable energy applications — at a cost of ownership close to prevailing utility rates. Full Spectrum technology also has the potential for products to be supplied on a variety of substrates thereby enabling creative applications in the architectural, wireless, automotive, rooftop/shingle, and distributed energy industries."

Mr. Masami Nakamoto, Executive Vice President of Sumitomo Chemical, said, "We are pleased to take part in the development and commercialization of full spectrum solar cells, which has been attracting much attention worldwide as the next-generation technology. Sumitomo wishes to collaborate with RoseStreet Labs, Berkeley Lab, and Cornell University by bringing a variety of its comprehensive technology and commercialization experience, accumulated over the years, into RSL Energy. Sumitomo plans to use its US subsidiary, Sumika Electronic Materials Inc., located in Phoenix, Arizona to participate directly in the development of InGaN, thus achieving the prompt commercialization of the innovative technology."