Funding thin-film solar isn’t just a popular idea among VCs; public funds have been financing research for years. Xunlight is the latest, announcing yesterday that it has received $4.9 million from the Ohio Research Commercialization Program. When we heard from the Toledo, Ohio-based Xunlight last April, it had just closed a $22 million Series B round and was looking for a location for a commercial-sized manufacturing plant. With this public grant, the Buckeye state has secured in-state thin-film solar jobs, as the money will be used for “Ohio-based manufacturing lines and bringing new products to market.”
Xunlight has already built a pilot plant for its roll-to-roll, thin-film solar technology with a 100 kW capacity to print its silicon-based cells. And the company has some bright minds — its founder and CEO, Xunming Deng, holds a world record for an efficient, single-junction amorphous silicon cell, Xunlight says.
Xunlight received $1 million in public funds earlier this year from Ohio’s Alternative Energy Program to develop and commercialize building-integrated cadmium telluride thin-film technology as part of its Xunlight 26 Solar (X26) venture. (hat tip VentureBeat).
Picture of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland courtesy of Xunlight.