Sungevity Raises $125M for Expansion
Sungevity is kicking the year off with a new, $85 million round to fund solar panel installations in the nine states that the company services. The Oakland, CA., company also announced a new venture capital round of $40 million which will likely be spent on rolling out services beyond putting solar panels on the rooftops. The company’s CEO hints that they are now working on a “road map of new services”, though no specifics were given. Sungevity began raising that $40 million in early 2012 and closed the round before the end of year.
NREL Develops Device to Screen Unusable Solar PV Wafers
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed an instrument that puts pressure on the wafers to find which ones are too fragile to make it through the manufacturing process — and then remove those weak wafers before they go through their costly enhancement. NREL’s Silicon Photovoltaic Wafer Screening System (SPWSS) is a cube-shaped furnace about 15 inches each side, and can be retrofitted into an assembly line. With this device, there is now a way to minimize the 5% to 10% loss due to cells failing even before they’re finished, which translates to potentially billions of dollars in annual savings for US PV manufacturers.
Solar Mosaic Launches Profit-Earning Platform for Solar Investors
Solar Mosaic has launched a web platform by which accredited investors are able to earn a return on their investment in solar development. The offering sold out in just 24 hours, with over 400 investors contributing an average of $700. This round of investment offerings comprises of three solar projects in California totaling 235 kilowatts in capacity. The platform makes multiple investments in solar power systems available and affordable (roughly $25), and promises an average rate of return of 4.5% annually for ten years. Solar Mosaic coordinated with regulators in California and New York so that non-accredited investors can also take part.
New York Breaks Ground on State Energy-Efficiency Initiative
A New York initiative called “Build Smart NY” will seek to increase the energy efficiency of state buildings by 20% over the next seven years. The most inefficient buildings will be addressed first and will undergo comprehensive improvements that include new lighting set-up, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, electric motors, and automated energy management systems. The New York Power Authority will be commiting $450 million in low-cost financing for the said initiative.