Bloomberg News

AQT Gets $18.7 Million to Expand California Solar Cell Plant

January 12, 2012

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- AQT Solar Inc., a closely held manufacturer of thin-film solar cells, received $18.7 million from investors to double production at its headquarters.

The company disclosed the financing today in a filing that didn’t identify the backers. The funding will help expand its manufacturing site in Sunnyvale, California, to a capacity of 30 megawatts a year, Merrill Freund, a spokesman, said today in an e-mail. Production began there in August 2010.

AQT last year said it would build a new plant in South Carolina to produce 40 megawatts of cells a year by the end of 2011, expanding to 1,000 megawatts by 2015. The company’s plans for manufacturing outside of California “will be clarified at a future date,” Freund said today, without elaborating.

The company’s products are made with copper, indium, gallium, and selenium instead of silicon that’s used in conventional solar cells. AQT says its manufacturing is more efficient than competitors because it uses equipment used in the computer hard disk drive industry.

--Editors: Charles Siler, Andrew Hobbs

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Herndon in San Francisco at aherndon2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net


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