Sol Voltaics receives $9.4 million funding for nanotech development

Sol Voltaics – a solar technology startup based in Lund, Sweden – has closed a deal to raise an additional $9.4 million in funding, augmenting an original sum of $6.2 million loaned by a Swedish government agency to take its innovative nanotechnology into pilot production.

The company’s Solink nanomaterial increases the energy output of solar cells by as much as 25%, and has received the financial backing of Norwegian investment company Umoe AS and a handful of other investors, including Industrifonden, Nano Future Invest, and Foundation Asset Management. Erik Sauer, a former chief technology officer at REC Solar, has also invested.

In the summer, in a signal of generous intent, the Swedish Energy Agency loaned Sol Voltaics $6 million – the largest loan by a government agency in Swedish history. The agency, together with Umoe, are hopeful that Sol Voltaics’ technology can make solar power adoption in homes and offices more affordable and efficient.

"The combination of shortage of energy in the world and global warming trends presents a unique long-term opportunity of capitalizing on a trend towards alternative energy," said Jens Ullveit-Moe, Umoe’s CEO and former chairman of REC Solar. "The technology that Sol Voltaics is developing promises to be disruptive in the solar market."

David Epstein, CEO of Sol Voltaics, added: "With this closing we now have the resources to take the company to pilot production. Together with strategic partners, we plan to demonstrate Wave Concentrated Photovoltaics using large quantities of nanowires on commercially viable solar cells.

"We are tremendously gratified to add the support oft he Swedish Energy Agency and Erik Sauer," continued Epstein. "We have two goals: to make solar more profitable for solar manufacturers and developers, and to lower the price of solar energy for consumers, utilities, and businesses. We look forward to demonstrating our technology later this year."

Sol Voltaics, which was founded in 2008 and employs 20 staff, will use the funds to manufacture a larger Aerotoxy machine and refine the liquid carriers used in their Solink product.

Additional backers of the project include the European Union and the Nordic Innovation Center.