Solar News: NanoGram's Round, Schott in New Mexico, UK's Thin-Film R&D

solargeneric1.jpgThe Detroit Auto Show is dominating cleantech headlines this morning (biofuels, alt vehicles, efficient engines), but there’s a bit of interesting news shining out of the solar industry, too. Solar is learning from nanotech to the tune of $32 million, while German solar maker Schott is investing $100 million in a plant in New Mexico, and an English university is leading a $12.3 million national thin-film solar project:

Nano + Solar = $32M More: Nanotechnology and solar technology are combining to get even more efficiencies with a cheaper cost. NanoGram has raised a third equity round of $32 million. The round included a seriously long list of new and existing investors; New investors included Global Cleantech Capital, Masdar Clean Tech Fund, Mitsui Ventures, Nagase & Co., Nanostart AG, TEL Venture Capital, and Yasuda Enterprise Development. Existing investors includes ATA Ventures, Bay Partners, Harris & Harris, Institutional Venture Partners, Nth Power, Rockport Capital Partners, SBV Venture Partners, and Technology Partners — Dean Takahashi’s Blog.

Schott Plants Down in New Mexico: German solar maker Schott emailed us this morning to say they plan to invest $100 million into building a 200,000 square-foot solar manufacturing plant in the Mesa del Sol region of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The plant will make gear for concentrated solar power systems and photovoltaic modules, with production beginning in 2009; they say the plant will initially create 350 jobs. The plan is for the investment in the plant to grow to $500 million, the building to be built out to 800,000 square feet, and the staff to balloon to 1,500. — CNET.

UK Lights Up Thin Film Research: The UK’s Durham University will lead a $12.3 million, government-backed four-year thin-film solar research project. The project will start in April. — media.cleantech.com.

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