Stion: boosting double-layered thin-film solar production

Stion has announced that it has raised USD 70 million to increase its production of thin-film solar cells and modules. According to the US-based company, USD 50 million comes from Taiwanese Semiconduc…

Stion has announced that it has raised USD 70 million to increase its production of thin-film solar cells and modules. According to the US-based company, USD 50 million comes from Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which will have a 21% stake in Stion and produce solar panels for it. Further investments came from existing investors Khosla Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and General Catalyst Partners, bringing the total Stion has raised since 2006 up to USD 114.6 million. This latest investment will enable the company to expand its current San Jose facility to an annual production of 100 megawatts“ worth of solar panels, up from the current pace of 10 megawatts. The first products are expected to be shipped in July 2010, while activities are ongoing to identify installers and distributors who serve the commercial market, president and CEO Chet Farris said. Farris added that the company is partnering with TSMC partly to save the capital cost of building production facilities, mainly using off-the-shelf sputtering manufacturing equipment from the glass industry. “We“re really focused on the material science, the process, and the device structure,” he said. “People ask us what“s the one the unique thing about us, but the reality is that the devil is in the details and it“s a whole bunch of little things.” “You have to have a product that“s fairly differentiated or you just won“t survive. We“ll see more of that going forward,” he said.