Finland’s Valoe sees funding boost for back contact solar technology

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Valoe, which rebranded from Cencorp Corporation last May, has received a subsidized loan to the tune of €4 million from the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) to develop its back contact solar PV technology for modules and cells. The loan, expected to be withdrawn between 2016 and 2019, represents 70% of the project’s total cost, estimated to be around €5.8 million.

"The decision of Tekes to fund Valoe’s photovoltaic technology based on the next generation back contact is significant," stated Valoe CEO, Iikka Savisalo. "I believe that in the near future we will see new initiatives supporting Valoe’s understanding that the market share of the back contact modules will grow fast in the next few years," he added.

The company, which provides turnkey solutions for back contact PV module manufacturing, has a 20 MW PV module test facility in Mikkeli. In May, Savisalo told pv magazine Valoe will be "very active" in terms of solar projects in Finland. He was unable to provide any specific details, however.

In other Valoe news, the company announced that it expects to finalize financial negotiations for its first manufacturing partnership agreement with a foreign customer by the end of this month. Initially, they were supposed to have concluded last September.

At the conclusion of the business negotiations with the unnamed customer in June – the order details of which will only be made available when financing has been finalized – Valoe said negotiations were underway for the delivery of solar module plants or production lines to several other, global, customers. No further details were available, however.

Last month, Valoe announced financial guidance for the coming year. It is the first time such information has been released by the company since its restructuring efforts got underway in 2012. Restructuring was said to have concluded in H1 2015, with the company now a "technology start-up that specializes in photovoltaic systems."

For 2016, it anticipates a profitable year, with net sales of around €11 million to €13 million and an EBITDA in the region of €1.5 million to €2 million.

pv magazine has contacted Valoe for an more information on its current activities.