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Intel expands solar focus with $12.5 million for Voltaix

Intel Capital's latest clean-tech investment is its third within two months for companies specializing in photovoltaic solar materials.

Intel Capital on Tuesday ramped up its solar investments by pledging $12.5 million for Voltaix. The Branchburg, N.J., company makes chemicals for producing semiconductors and solar cells.

Voltaix, which has provided semiconductor and thin film solar materials for a quarter century, aims to expand its role in the growing market for building-integrated photovoltaics, company President John de Neufville said in a statement.

"Our financing of Voltaix is part of Intel Capital's manufacturing strategy to foster innovation around integrated circuit manufacturing and complementary cleantech areas such as thin film photovoltaics," said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital.

Intel's investment branch announced earlier this month that it led a $133.7 million round with $37.7 million for Sulfurcell of Germany, which aims to build a Berlin plant for producing thin-film solar modules. Other investors included Climate Change Capital Private Equity, AIG, Demeter Partners, and Zouk Ventures.

In June, Intel Capital led $50 million in the formation of SpectraWatt, charged with making solar cells for photovoltaic modules. Also participating in that round were Goldman Sachs Group's Cogentrix Energy, PCG Clean Energy and Technology Fund, and Solon AG.

SpectraWatt's first products are supposed to ship in the middle of 2009 following the establishment of a factory.

Thirty-seven percent of Intel Capital's investments in 2007 targeted companies outside the United Sates.