Solar startups are working on a variety of ways to drive down the cost of silicon-based solar power. Fremont, Calif. based startup Solaria’s technology is one that just got a sizable boost from German solar giant Q-Cells.
Solaria just announced Monday that it has raised a $50 million series C financing round led by Q-Cells, and including Sigma Partners, NGEN and Moser Baer. Q-Cells had previously invested in Solaria and according to the press release Q-Cell’s non-controlling stake in Solaria increased to 33% with this new funding.
As important as the funding, Q-Cells will provide Solaria with access to solar cells worth 1.35 GW over the next ten years. Solar cell supply can be limited and is crucial to the production of solar modules.
It’s no secret that solar is proving to be a sunny area of investment for clean tech investors. Venture capital in solar grew by 50% in 2006 to $421 million according to Lux Research. Some startups like Solaria are focusing on bringing new technologies to existing silicon-based systems, while others are working on non-silicon alternatives and thin-film.