Heliatek raises EUR 80m for OPV expansion

Germany’s Heliatek, a market leader in the development of organic PV (OPV) technology, has today raised €80 million ($89 million) to fund its bold expansion plans.

The Dresden-based manufacturer of OPV solar films intends to use the bulk of the funding to augment its manufacturing capacity to one million square meters of solar film per annum. This expansion would enable the firm to produce its HeliaFilm technology on a scale suitable to meet global demand, the company said.

"The financing allows us to strengthen our world leadership in organic solar film and to accelerate our expansion," said Heliatek CEO Thibaud Le Seguillon. "We will continue to lead the way in enabling distributed energy generation on industrial and commercial buildings."

The company plans to install its new roll-to-roll fab at its Dresden site over the next 18 months, and will step up the global roll-out of its HeliaFilm technology to the building and automotive industry.

The CEO revealed that Heliatek’s chief strategy will be to expand its BIOPV – building integrated organic photovoltaic – market by seeking larger supply deals for its HeliaFilm technology in the building and construction material industry.

European energy firm Innogy SE led the Series D financing round, which comprised €42 million in equity, €20 million in debt and some €18 million in subsidies. Other investors involved in the deal include ENGIE, BNP Paribas and CEE Group, which specializes in renewable energy investment.

A loan of €20 million was granted to Heliatek by the European Investment Bank (EIB) under its InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators program: a joint initiative launched by the EIB and the European Commission.

"The EIB is committed to support innovation in Europe," said EIB VP Ambroise Fayolle. "Loans to innovative midcaps like Heliatek are key to drive Europe’s knowledge economy."

Further support has been forthcoming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which is poised to deliver to Heliatek grants of up to €18 million to enable the firm to embark on the newly developed KETs Pilot Lines project technology and innovation funding scheme that is offered by the German state of Saxony. "Heliatek is the perfect example of the innovation power of the Saxon economy," said Minister President Tillich. "My government is convinced of the economic potential and further technological development opportunities of not only the company but the entire field."