Nanosolar, one of the first startups to begin producing next-generation thin-film solar cells has raised yet another $50 million in funding; this time from French power company EDF Energies Nouvelles. EDF’s investment also came with an agreement to be able to buy Nanosolar’s panels at a competitive cost starting in 2009.
There was a rumor that Nanosolar had been looking to raise some additional funds and was touting a post-money valuation of $2 billion. The solar firm was founded in 2002 and raised over $100 million in capital (before this round) from Sand Hill Road heavyweights like Mohr Davidow Ventures and Benchmark Capital, as well as the Google guys, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
That valuation probably isn’t too unreasonable. Nanosolar has key technology for making solar panels out of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), which is cheaper to produce than traditional solar cells, partly because it contains no silicon, which is currently in high demand. CIGS can also be printed on flexible materials that can be built into rooftops.
EDF’s investment could also help the French firm expand its solar business in the U.S. EDF owns California-based wind and solar power company enXco, which has been adding more solar projects as of late.
More on Nanosolar: