Solar Junction Closes $19.2 Mil Round for Scaling of Manufacturing

February 13, 2012 by Jeff Shepard

Solar Junction, a developer of high efficiency multi-junction cells for the concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) market, announced the close of its Series D financial round of $19.2 mil from current investors with an additional strategic investment and partnership from IQE. This investment and partnership is to scale up Solar Junction’s manufacturing of its world record cell of 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.”

Solar Junction closes its largest round to date of $19.2 mil 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 fulfill 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. Customers immediately realize the cell’s efficiency benefit in reductions to LCOE (levelized cost of energy) and $/watt of their CPV modules.

“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 Dr. 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(TM) 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.