Intel Capital spreads its solar bets with Sulfurcell
After spinning off SpectraWatt for silicon cells, Intel Capital invests in thin-film expert Sulfurcell in Germany to expand production.
Intel's venture capital arm, Intel Capital, on Wednesday said it has invested in German thin-film solar cell manufacturer Sulfurcell.
Intel Capital led the $133.7 million (85 million euro) round with a $37.7 million contribution. The money will be used to expand the company's existing production, which started in 2005.
The announcement follows the, a manufacturer of silicon solar cells, from Intel.
Sulfurcell, by contrast, is an expert in thin-film solar cells made from a combination of materials in the CIS/CIGSe (Copper-Indium-Sulfide/Selenide) family of chemicals. The company was spun out of Hahn-Meitner-Institut, a Berlin-based research institute specializing in thin-film photovoltaics.
Intel Capital's clean-tech strategy is to invest in a number of different areas including solar, energy efficiency, power generation and storage, and transportation.
Chip rival IBM is alsoarena through a manufacturing partnership with Tokyo Ohka Kogyo (TOK).
Thin-film cells, particularly those made from CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, and selenide), are one of the hottest areas of clean-tech investment.
Because they use much less material than silicon, they can be more cost-effective on a price-per-watt basis.