First Solar has acquired Evolar AB, a European perovskite company. First Solar paid $38 million for the company, with up to an additional $42 million to be paid subject to certain technical milestones being achieved in the future.
Acquiring a perovskite company should accelerate First Solar’s development of next-gen solar technology, including tandem devices. First Solar is also actively working with SunPower on a tandem thin-film/silicon solar module for the residential market. A CdTe thin-film layer would sit atop a layer of crystalline-silicon cells to capture more of the sun’s energy. First Solar will make the module, and SunPower will be the exclusive provider of the product to residential installers.
“With this acquisition, along with our new innovation center in the United States and longstanding commitment to R&D, we are investing not just in First Solar’s future, but the future of solar energy,” said Mark Widmar, First Solar CEO. “We anticipate that high-efficiency tandem PV modules will define the future, speeding up decarbonization by allowing us to convert sunlight into clean electricity more efficiently. This acquisition supplements our existing R&D streams with expertise in thin-film semiconductors that complement CdTe. We expect that it will accelerate our efforts to develop tandem technology that continues our commitment to ultra-low carbon, responsibly produced solar.”
Evolar’s laboratory in Uppsala, Sweden, will continue to conduct research activity, marking the first time that First Solar will have an R&D facility in Europe. Upon closing of the transaction, approximately 30 of Evolar’s R&D staff will transition to First Solar, working in close collaboration with the company’s team of about 60 scientists at its advanced research technology center in Santa Clara, California, and the development teams in Perrysburg, Ohio.
Founded in 2019 by veterans of the copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) industry, Evolar focused on developing solutions, including manufacturing equipment, for commercializing a tandem solar technology utilizing perovskite thin films. Made up of some of Europe’s foremost experts in thin film PV, Evolar has produced several thin-film efficiency records, including the current 23.6% record for CIGS research solar cells. Its team works closely with leading European research institutions, including Uppsala University.
News item from First Solar