Dublin-based solar cell manufacturing design company, Nines Photovoltaics, has announced the closing of a €750,000 round of funding. The round of funding was led by Irish clean tech investor, Simple.ie, through its Green Employment & Investment Incentive (EII) Fund and was supported by a number of key private investors including the Irish State via Enterprise Ireland. This brings the total funding raised by the company to date to over €2.5m including €1.2m through FP7 European Funding, which was announced in June 2011.
The funding will be used to recruit additional staff and to build the company’s first industrial silicon wafer processing tool, which will house the disruptive technology that has been developed by the Nines Photovoltaics’ team. This tool will be validated in a pilot production line in Fraunhofer ISE (Freiburg Germany) – one of only two places in the world that can certify solar cell efficiencies.
Through its breakthrough proprietary technology and equipment, Nines Photovoltaics aims to dramatically change the processes used to manufacture Solar Cells, reducing the production cost whilst also increasing cell efficiencies.
Edward Duffy, chief executive of Nines Photovoltaics, comments: “These are exciting times. We are innovating in a truly global market with enormous potential and are planning to export 100% of our products. We plan to equip our first production lines in Q4 2012 whilst working with Photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers across the globe.”
Solar Cell manufacturers have been impacted by the global downturn, which has led to much consolidation within the industry over the last 12 months. “Industry wide there has been a change of focus away from investment in production capacity to investment in technologies that result in cost reduction and increased cell efficiencies,” explains Simon Forsyth, chief financial officer of Nines Photovoltaics. “This shift in focus is critical if cell manufacturers are to have an edge in this highly competitive market and our technology offers this advantage.”