Miasole, San Jose, CA, a CIGS solar cell developer (previous post) and one of the darlings of the investment community, will try to do an IPO within 12 to 18 months, according to CEO David Pearce. In May they announced that they had raised about $16 million in a round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
The timing is pretty good because of the high demand for solar cells and the shortage of silicon used by most solar cell suppliers. Copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) cells do not contain silicon and unlike silicon solar cells, CIGS cells can be printed on flexible sheets of foil or other material.
By the fourth quarter, Miasole expects to have factory capacity running that could supply 50 megawatts worth of solar panels a year. By the end of 2007, the company hopes to have 200 megawatts of capacity.
CIGS solar panels only have about 15 percent efficiency in high volume manufacturing. Most silicon solar cells on the market already exceed that.
But, CIGS panels cost less and so do the factories. CIGS gets coated onto film, similarly to how hard drives get coated with magnetic material. Making silicon solar panels is more complicated.