Siva Power wins $3 million in funding from DOE SunShot Program

January 27, 2015

Through its Sun­Shot Ini­tia­tive, the US Depart­ment of Ener­gy (DOE) has award­ed US thin-film tech­nol­o­gy start­up Siva Pow­er $3 mil­lion in fund­ing to sup­port the company’s com­mer­cial­iza­tion efforts. Specif­i­cal­ly, the fund­ing sup­ports the fir­m’s plans to demon­strate a CIGS co-evap­o­ra­tion tech­nol­o­gy that enables 12x high­er man­u­fac­tur­ing through­put (m2/​min) than is cur­rent­ly available.This would enable a ful­ly auto­mat­ed CIGS depo­si­tion sys­tem at a 3x reduc­tion in capex, labor and over­head costs per watt, the com­pa­ny said. This CIGS sys­tem, along with oth­er high-speed tools, will allow Siva to build the world’s largest pro­duc­tion line, at 300 MW.

In August 2014, Siva said it was seek­ing $100 mil­lion to build its 300 MW CIGS thin-film mod­ule fac­to­ry. Siva CEO Brad Matt­son told Bloomberg that the com­pa­ny had received sig­nif­i­cant inter­est from strate­gic investors in Chi­na and that it expect­ed to close the invest­ment cycle by the end of 2014. Siva aims to begin build­ing the mod­ule fac­to­ry in 2015 and to scale up pro­duc­tion activ­i­ties in 2016. The sin­gle auto­mat­ed 300 MW pro­duc­tion line would use co-evap­o­rat­ed CIGS tech­nol­o­gy and high-speed flat pan­el dis­play glass coat­ing tools and would pro­duce mod­ules at a cost of $0.40 per W with­in the first year of oper­a­tion. This would drop to $0.28 per W 2 years after that, the com­pa­ny said. Siva has not yet select­ed a site for the fac­to­ry, but it has said in the past that its pro­ject­ed man­u­fac­tur­ing costs could be achieved in Chi­na, the US or near­ly any oth­er location.

In June, Siva raised $15 mil­lion from the Chi­nese city of Wuxi, Chi­na and exist­ing investors Tri­dent Cap­i­tal, DBL Part­ners LLC and Acero Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment. Siva said the pro­ceeds from the June fundrais­ing round would be used to expand its research and man­u­fac­tur­ing oper­a­tions and to build a pilot pro­duc­tion line.

The Sun­Shot Ini­tia­tive is a nation­al effort to make solar ener­gy cost-com­pet­i­tive with tra­di­tion­al ener­gy sources by the end of the decade. Ten firms nation­wide recent­ly received coop­er­a­tive awards under the Solar Man­u­fac­tur­ing Tech­nol­o­gy fund­ing pro­gram, which aims to bridge the gap from inven­tion to com­mer­cial­iza­tion, bring­ing inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­o­gy to scale. Siva was the only thin-film pan­el awardee in the fund­ing round.