While we all wait for President Obama to fulfill his greentech pledges, many solar companies have been forced to change business plans and layoff employees. 1366 Technologies, a company we wrote about this week, also has suspended a plan to raise money and build its first commercial factory.
Back in October, the startup in Lexington, Mass., was looking to raise $50 million to build a factory capable of making 25 megawatts to 30 megawatts worth of crystalline silicon panels per year (see Green Light post).
Asked how that factory project is coming along this week, 1366 CEO Frank van Mierlo said the plan has been put on hold.
“The 25- to 30-megawatt was the plan before we had the financial meltdown,??? van Mierlo said. “With the current climate, it’s better to continue to develop the technology and wait a little bit before trying to raise that kind of capital. The market is not helpful at the moment.???
He said when investors are more willing to open their wallets again, his company would consider building a 50- to 100-megawatt factory instead.
For now, 1366 is focusing on designing equipment capable of mass-producing solar cells. The company, which used technology first developed at MIT, said it aims to cut manufacturing costs by 25 percent by improving the cells’ ability to convert sunlight into electricity.