Thursday, August 28, 2008

Solar Thin Film: This is Starting to Be Real Money-AVA; Nanosolar; Solyndra

First, from Green Light:
Rumor: Solyndra Burning Through Nearly $15M a Month

The cash consuming machine that is CIGS never fails to astound.

Nanosolar, which makes copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar panels, confirmed with Dow Jones that it has raised $300 million in another round of financing. Sources have said for the past few weeks that Nanosolar was raising another round. Nanosolar already raised about $150 million, bringing their total now close to $450 million. The company, however, has garnered almost no revenues and only started shipping products, to a limited customer base, in December.

But the company isn’t the only one in this sort of situation. Solyndra, which we reported is trying to raise an additional $350 million, is burning through $15 million a month, say sources. Solyndra already raised $72 million last year and is not shipping product. The company, however, has signed sales contracts to ship over $1 billion in solar panels to two customers between now and 2012, assuming the company can get in mass production. (Nanosolar has estmiated its value at $2 billion while Solyndra has said it is worth $1 billion.)...MORE

Next up VentureBeat:

Another massive funding for thin film solar, with $104M to AVA Solar, a challenger to First Solar

It may not be as much as the colossal $300 million financing that Nanosolar finally disclosed yesterday — the biggest ever for a solar company — but another thin-film manufacturer, AVA Solar, has broken into the nine-figure funding range today, with a challenge to industry giant First Solar’s dominance.

AVA stands out a bit from its peers, for several reasons. For one, it’s based in Fort Collins, Colorado, well away from the sunny or technology-laden areas its competitors operate in. The outfit has thus gotten relatively little attention. The second oddity is the technology that AVA uses, which builds thin-film cells using cadmium telluride (CdTe), a kind of semiconductor.

Most of the biggest bets in thin-film solar, a form of solar panel that is less efficient than traditional silicon-based cells but much cheaper to make, are based on copper-indium-gallium-selenide, or CIGS technology. Ascent Solar, Heliovolt, Miasole, Nanosolar, and a bunch of other companies all use CIGS. There’s an ongoing debate as to whether CIGS, CdTe or a third material, thin-film silicon, is best....MORE