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Solar energy company raises $50 million

Suniva Inc., a manufacturer of solar energy cells, announced today that it has raised $50 million in its second round of venture capital financing.

The round was co-led by a returning investor, New Enterprise Associates, and Advanced Equities Inc. The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. joined the round via its wholly-owned subsidiary Cogentrix Energy Inc., an independent power producer. HIG Ventures, an existing investor, and Quercus Investments participated as well. The funds will be used for Suniva's new manufacturing facility near Atlanta.

“The innovative and proprietary technology and know-how that Suniva has gained from its founder, Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi and Georgia Tech's University Center for Excellence in Photovoltaics (UCEP) over the past 15 years of research and development is astounding and unique in the industry,” said Harry Weller, partner at New Enterprise Associates. “Having an IEEE Cherry award winner who is one of the world's top scientists in solar power technology and the superb executive team of leading industry veterans, which has joined him will enable Suniva to take silicon-based solar power to the ultimate goal of mass adoption.”

Utilizing its license to patents and intellectual property developed at UCEP, Suniva is redefining the manufacturing processes for high-efficiency solar cells, driving down the cost of photovoltaic (PV) ownership to meet the costs of conventional grid power. A meaningful reduction in raw materials consumption coupled with a lower-cost process enables Suniva to significantly reduce the cost per watt of its cells and ultimately the final installed cost of PV systems, the company said.

John Baumstark, president and CEO of Suniva said, “This round marks a major milestone in our path to commercialization and speaks to the acumen of our stellar group of investors and board members. As the industry looks to scale production and bring down costs, Suniva's experienced executive team and proven technology is well positioned to lead the industry with its high-value approach to solar cell manufacturing.” (bizjournals)