Solar Junction scales up HCPV manufacturing

California-based Solar Junction yesterday, February 13, closed its Series D financial round of $19.2 million. Investments came from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV), Draper Fidher Jurvetson (DFJ) and IQE. To date, Solar Junction has raised $54.5 million in funding for its CPV activities from the aforementioned investors.

U.K. wafer company, IQE has also been announced as a partner. Under the agreement, the company is investing $5 million, for which it will receive an exclusive multi-year epi wafer supply contract.

Jeff Allen, VP of business development at Solar Junction tells pv magazine that the company aims to scale up production to 50 MW of its 43.5 percent CPV cells by the end of 2012. In order to do this, he says, each party – Solar Junction and IQE – will need to "commission and qualify" process equipment at both IQE’s production site in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Solar Junction’s production site in San Jose, California.

In terms of orders already secured, Allen says, "In addition to the recent multi-megawatt order from Semprius, Solar Junction has secured more multi-megawatt orders, which may be announced later, selling out our current capacity in San Jose for 2012." While he could not divulge further information, he says that some of the orders will go towards 1-sun applications.

This year, Allen says the company plans to complete its long-term supply agreements with its customers, in addition to presenting at conferences, including CPV-8 and Space Power Workshop. Meanwhile, looking ahead, he says Solar Junction will "continue to fundraise to further increase manufacturing capacity as 2013 capacity requests substantially outpace the initial manufacturing capacity brought on-line."