Heliovolt closes $101M funding round

October 22, 2007 – HelioVolt Corp., a developer of CIGS thin-film solar products, says it has closed a Series B round of funding adding another $24M in investments to a previous $77M in commitments, bringing the entire Series B round to $101M.

The company says it will use the funds to accelerate scale-up and global deployment of its proprietary manufacturing process for copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) solar products. In a Q&A with WaferNEWS in August, CEO B.J. Stanbery indicated those plans center on building the company’s first factory, a proposed 20MW site in the US with room to expand capacity as needed.

In a statement announcing the extra funding, the company added that it will seek to co-locate production facilities with its manufacturing partners, to create traditional PV panels and flexible solar products for both domestic and international markets “at dramatically reduced costs.”

“From an investment perspective, HelioVolt’s FASST manufacturing process embodies the most attractive technological and economic characteristics within the CIGS category, as well as the broader solar landscape,” stated Ron Bernal, general partner with Sequel Venture Partners, one of the participants in the new Series B traunche (others include Noventi Ventures and Passport Capital).

Stanbery says prototype yields and performance from its FASST manufacturing process “are superior to commercially available cadmium telluride module products,” adding that efficiencies “are continually improving” toward a goal 10%-12% conversion efficiency for initial module products, he said.

HelioVolt claims its CIGS thin-film technology is 100x thinner and more absorbent than traditional silicon, and 10x faster to produce than alternative CIGS manufacturing methods. In August Stanbery told WaferNEWS that prototype yields and performance from its FASST manufacturing process were superior to commercially available CaTe modules, with efficiencies improving but not yet achieving a goal 10%-12% conversion efficiency.


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