U.S.-based solar module manufacturer First Solar has acquired Evolar AB, a Sweden-based company focused on perovskite technology, for an initial payment of around $38 million. There is an agreement for a potential additional payment of up to $42 million based on future technical milestones.
This strategic move is expected to propel the advancement of next-generation solar technology, particularly high-efficiency tandem devices. The company aims to accelerate innovation by integrating Evolar’s expertise, know-how, and intellectual property portfolio with First Solar’s existing research and development (R&D) capabilities and thin film solar scaling proficiency.
As part of the agreement, Evolar’s laboratory, located in Uppsala, Sweden, will continue its research activities. This marks an important milestone for First Solar as it establishes its first R&D facility in Europe. Almost 30 of Evolar’s R&D staff members will join First Solar, working closely with the company’s existing team of around 60 scientists at its advanced research technology center in California and the development teams in Ohio.
Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar, said, “With this acquisition, along with our innovation center in the United States and longstanding commitment to R&D, we are investing not just in First Solar’s future but the future of solar energy as a whole.”
He emphasized the potential of high-efficiency tandem solar modules to accelerate decarbonization efforts by converting sunlight into clean electricity more efficiently.
The acquisition of Evolar complements First Solar’s ongoing R&D initiatives, particularly in thin film semiconductors that complement their existing Cadmium Telluride technology. The company anticipates that this strategic move will expedite the development of tandem technology, aligning with its commitment to producing ultra-low carbon solar solutions.
First Solar recently announced an investment of $1.2 billion to scale the production of American-made, responsibly-produced solar modules totaling 4.4 GW, to support the country’s transition to decarbonization until 2025.
First Solar started the construction of its 3.3 GW module manufacturing factory in Ohio in August 2021, which will be operational by the first half of 2023. The factory would scale the company’s Northwest Ohio footprint to a cumulative annual capacity of 6 GW.
The company is also building the company’s first manufacturing unit in India, which will begin operations by the second half of the next financial year.
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