Monday, March 31, 2008

MIT solar startup aims to beat coal on price.

From EE Times:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Ely Sachs has said he plans for a startup company called 1366 Technologies (Lexington, Mass.) to develop an improved silicon-based solar cell that can beat coal on cost efficiency.

The amount of energy that comes from the sun is 1366 watts per square meter at the surface of the earth. 1366 Technologies has secured $12.4 million in a first round of financing co-led by North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners. Founder and CTO, Sachs, said the company would be combining innovations in silicon cell architecture with manufacturing process improvements to bring polycrystalline silicon solar cells to cost parity with coal-based electricity....

...Professor Sachs previously invented the string ribbon wafer technology, which is being commercialized by
Evergreen Solar, a leading developer of solar energy products....MORE

From Red Herring:

Thin-film solar technology has generated a storm of interest in recent years. That's because advocates have ordained thin-film—which can be applied on glass, metal or flexible plastic and integrated with building materials—as the inevitable solar star of the future.

But 1366 Technologies, a startup spun out of research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes traditional silicon-based photovoltaic cells still show great promise. The company talks about creating electricity cheaper than coal. 1366's ambitions, however, haven’t made it out of the lab....