Borrego Solar scores $14 million in funding

Is it just another deal, or is it a signal that green investors are running back to safer bets such as silicon for solar panels?

A 97.2 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system Borrego Solar installed for a mixed live/work property in Richmond, Calif. Borrego Solar

Borrego Solar Systems, a manufacturer of a solar power systems that can connect to electrical grids, received $14 million in venture funding on Wednesday.

The money will go toward the company's expansion already under way to bring more solar installations to the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., according to the company. Borrego Solar recently opened offices in Boston.

The deal itself could be a sign that green capitalists are taking a more conservative approach to investment, not only in terms of business management but also in terms of the type of technology they're willing to take a risk on.

For one, Borrego Solar brought in $60 million in revenue in 2008 and scored over $90 million in contracts, according to company statistics. And in addition to last August's distribution deal for its residential solar panels with Wal-Mart's Sam's Club stores , the San Diego-based company has also scored some high-profile clients in California .

But perhaps of more interest to those watching the industry is the fact that Borrego Solar's solar panels are made of silicon semiconductors and not thin-film solar cells from CIGS, a combination of copper, indium, gallium, and selenide.

Silicon is a tried-and-true material in the solar industry. CIGS is a newer and, therefore, less proven solar technology material, even though many big names, such as IBM, are trying their hand at CIGS solar panels .

Tech Culture
About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet,, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.


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