These are heady times for the thin-film solar industry. The sector’s dominant player, First Solar, has been on a tear of late, recently announcing it would build a second 10 megawatt power plant in Nevada, while Miasole, once thought to be ailing, has staged an impressive comeback, raking in an eye-popping $220 million. Nanosolar has developed a new ultra-fast solar cell printer, and even giants like IBM and Applied Materials have gotten in on the game.
In the face of such intense competition, how will HelioVolt, a well-funded outpost of CIGS manufacturing in Texas, fare? The company hopes a new hybrid, super fast CIGS process it has developed in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which combines its patented FASST process and NREL’s non-vacuum deposition technique, will help even the odds....MORE