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Nanosolar gets big customer, $50 million more in investment

EDF Energies Nouvelles, which serves nine European countries, invests in company that specializes in CIGS solar cells.

Renewable energy provider EDF Energies Nouvelles has plunked $50 million into Nanosolar and will get access to output from Nanosolar's factories in 2009.

Nanosolar specializes in copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) solar cells. CIGS cells aren't as efficient as silicon solar cells, but they cost less and can be integrated into building materials. Nanosolar's cells can be printed on thin, flexible sheets of metal.

The company became one of the first to start producing CIGS commercially when it started cranking out production in December. Some other competitors have had to delay production. Right now, only Global Solar in Arizona also produces CIGS commercially.

A few weeks ago,we heard consistent rumors that Nanosolar had been seeking additional investment and has been telling investors that the company is worth around $2 billion. The company hasn't confirmed the $2 billion part (though we've heard it from a lot of people), but this confirms the "seeking investment" part, I guess. In 2006, Nanosolar raised $100 million. Investors include Mohr Davidow Ventures, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin.

EDF serves nine European countries and has 1.4 gigawatts of installed capacity and is building 1.1 more gigawatts.