GreenVolts, a second-tier concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) supplier that came out fast and furious a number of years ago only to recede soon afterward, has closed on its $39 million funding Round C. The firm had raised $22 million of that round late last year.
Here's a link to their SEC form D filing. I spoke with Jerry Gottheil, GreenVolts' Director of Marketing Communications and he said there were new investors, although that's not indicated on the SEC filing. This round brings GreenVolts' VC fundraising total to more than $80 million.
GreenVolts had signed a multi-megawatt Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with PG&E in 2008, one of the more sizable CPV projects at the time. Since then, GreenVolts has had some boardroom carnage -- founder Bob Cart left to spend more time with his family and the industry passed GreenVolts by.
Amonix, Soitec, and SolFocus have emerged as the leaders in the CPV sub-sector, with hundreds of megawatts in their PPA pipeline. GTM Research has profiles of all of the relevant industry players and a thorough analysis of the sector here.
The new CEO, Dave Gudmundson, hails from optical networking firm JDSU and brought several of his JDSU colleagues along with him. Brian Hinman of Oak Investment Partners said in an email that "GreenVolts is installing a lot of hardware now, and it works exactly as designed. We have 18 months of operating history on the new architecture."
GreenVolts is in the process of installing a one-megawatt CPV system in Yuma, Arizona at Arizona Western College, scheduled to be completed this summer, and Gottheil cites several other installations in the Southwest. The product had gone through a major redesign because of issues with accuracy, tracking and scalability, according to our sources.
Greentech Media Research has forecast CPV installations to exceed one gigawatt per year by 2015.
Here's a partial list of VC-funded CPV firms including system and component vendors.
Cool Earth Solar
Soliant (acquired in fire sale by Emcore)
SV Solar (out of business)
Wakonda (out of business)
GreenVolts' CPV units photographed by Ed Gunther's candid solar camera