Alta Devices Inc., based in Santa Clara, Calif., says it has raised funding to focus on improving the production economics of high-efficiency solar PV applications. Total investment in this round to date is $72 million. The new funds are being used to continue moving toward commercialization.
Among the investors are returning firms August Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Crosslink Capital, DAG Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Presidio Ventures (a Sumitomo Corp. company), Technology Partners and Dow Chemical. New investors are Alberta Investment Management Corp., Good Energies, Energy Technology Ventures (a joint venture involving GE, ConocoPhilips and NRG Energy) and Constellation Energy.
‘There are a number of advanced materials that could demonstrate higher solar conversion efficiency than silicon,’ says Christopher Norris, Alta's CEO. ‘To date, the challenge of these materials is that they have been expensive to produce and difficult to implement.’
Technologies that Alta is exploring include a process called epitaxial lift off, reports Bill Joy, a Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers partner and Alta board member. ‘This is a technique that will enable efficient use of very thin layers of gallium arsenide for solar PV applications,’ Joy says.
SOURCE: Alta Devices