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.