Sencera Raises $3.6 Million To Build 1MW PV Manufacturing Platform

April 17, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Sencera International Corp., a photovoltaic thin film module and systems developer, announced that it has secured a $3.6 million equity investment. Funds will be used to accelerate increases in cell efficiency and to complete process integration of the Viper™ manufacturing platform. This process is projected to manufacture solar modules at a cost less than $1 per watt. The investment is led by The Quercus Trust.

"The Quercus Trust has a long history of investing in the renewable energy sector," stated Sencera CEO, Dr. Rusty Jewett. "We feel privileged to be part of their portfolio."

Established in 2003, Sencera customers included the US Army and the US Display Consortium. The company claims that its plasma processes and hardware were successfully utilized in thin film transistor and integrated circuit applications. In 2006, Sencera began contract work for leading CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, Selenide) solar cell developers. Success on CIGS cell processes is said to have validated the company’s tools and processes in the solar industry. In 2007, Sencera embarked on the development of proprietary thin film amorphous silicon and microcrystalline silicon solar cells.

Sencera was founded by Dr. Russell Jewett, a PhD in Nuclear Engineering. He is a plasma physicist with broad experience from research at Sandia National Labs to commercial success in both large semi-conductor companies and start-up ventures. In 2003, Jewett began Sencera, his second start up venture.

Use of proceeds from the $3.6 million equity investment will be used to build a prototype 1MW thin film photovoltaic manufacturing platform. Work will also center on solar cell efficiency milestones. Upon the completion of the demonstration phase, Sencera will begin construction on a 35-50MW PV module manufacturing line. The site for the line will be selected from several candidate locations.