Solar Cell Repower, a Norwegian startup working on technology to upgrade off-spec solar panels, has closed a Series A round of financing for $1.48 million from NorthZone Ventures. The company, which plans to partner with module manufacturers and begin production next summer, also announced $1.8 million in grants and loans today from the state-owned Innovation Norway for building a factory.
Starting with modules from other manufacturers, Solar Cell Repower could sidestep the tumult anticipated in the solar industry as a result of the looming polysilicon glut — but it also means it may not be able to leverage collapsing prices to its advantage. When production of the raw material was short (and prices high), many solar manufacturers negotiated long-term contracts to lock in supply. Those that can renegotiate will see dramatic cost reductions, since polysilicon represents the single largest expense in producing a solar module.