SolFocus, pioneer of concentrator photovoltaic technology for cost-effective, industrial-scale solar energy, has announced a major round of funding for its new European operation.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, California and MADRID, Spain - September 4, 2007 - SolFocus, Inc., developer and manufacturer of solar energy solutions including concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems, trackers and thermal technology, today announced the closing of $52 million (€38 million) in funding. This included a $27.4 million (€20 million) Series A financing for SolFocus Europe, and the balance as Series B financing for SolFocus, Inc. The financings, both led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), also include Moser Baer India, Ltd., David Gelbaum, Metasystem Group, NGEN Partners, Yellowstone Capital Inc., and others. SolFocus Europe is headquartered in Madrid, Spain and will serve the European market with CPV, tracker and thermal products.
SolFocus Europe operations will include business development, marketing, engineering, research and development activities, along with field operations which will oversee the ISFOC (Institute of Concentration Photovoltaic Systems) program which SolFocus was awarded last October. The ISFOC project is a 3MW installation of CPV technology in Castilla la Mancha, Spain. SolFocus will also continue collaborative work with the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) and its Institute of Solar Energy (IES) in meeting technology challenges to further the proliferation of solar energy worldwide. SolFocus also recently acquired Inspira, a Madrid-based provider of solar trackers for the CPV and PV industries. According to SolFocus CEO Gary D. Conley, the company will base its tracker and solar thermal product development activities in Europe while focusing on panel, optics, and cell technologies in the US.
A pioneer in concentrator solar and the impetus behind Spain's ISFOC, Dr. Antonio Luque of the Polytechnic University of Madrid sees SolFocus' expansion into Europe as positive both for Europe and for the CPV industry. "After decades of solar cell research and development to achieve high solar efficiencies, I see strong promise in SolFocus' ability to deliver high power output, while reducing costs. This is a critical step in bringing CPV to a global market."
"Aggressive incentives in Europe, coupled with the efforts of visionaries such as Dr. Luque, have resulted in the rapid rise of Spain as a global solar technology hub, making it the ideal centre for SolFocus Europe's headquarters," said Gary D. Conley, SolFocus CEO. "This funding provides us the means to form and operate a separate, fully-operational entity which can better serve the European market's demand for CPV systems as well as trackers for CPV and conventional flat plate solar panels. SolFocus will also gain considerable solar DNA from the large and experienced solar labour pool in Europe."
About SolFocus, Inc.
SolFocus develops and markets solar concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems, trackers for CPV and flat panel PV installations, and is expanding into other solar technologies such as solar thermal. With a focus on reliable, low-cost, high-volume manufacturability, SolFocus solar systems and solutions will enable a dramatic reduction in the cost of delivering renewable solar energy, and ultimately compete with conventional fuels in several large, multi-billion-dollar energy markets. In November 2005, the National Renewable Energy Lab Growth Forum recognized SolFocus' chief executive officer, Gary D. Conley, as its Clean Energy Entrepreneur of the Year. SolFocus raised $32 million in its Series A funding in mid-2006, which was also led by NEA. In October 2006, SolFocus was among three winners to be awarded participation in the ISFOC program from Spain's Institute of Concentration Photovoltaic Systems.
Adrian Harrington, Axicom for SolFocus Europe
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