Solyndra said Monday it has signed a contract worth up to $320 million with Carlisle Energy Services, a new division of a long-time roofing system maker.
Carlisle Energy Services, part of the Carlisle Construction Materials in Carlisle, Penn., plans to start offering Solyndra's panels in the first quarter of 2009, said Dick Gillenwater, manager of advanced products at Carlisle SynTec, which is part of Carlisle Construction.
Solyndra will supply 100 megawatts worth of panels over a 5-year period, Gillenwater said.
Carlisle plans to market Solyndra's panels along with its single-ply roofing systems. Carlisle makes a white thermoplastic polyolefin roofing membrane that can boost Solyndra's panels' output by 20 percent, the solar startup claims.
The new deal followed the $1.2 billion worth of contracts Solyndra had previously announced. The company is due to deliver panels to Solar Power, Phoenix Solar and GeckoLogic (see Solyndra Signs $250M GeckoLogic Deal). Solyndra is targeting only the commercial rooftop market at this time.
Solyndra emerged from stealth mode last month to unveil its unusual tubular copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) thin film. Each panel is made up of 40 of these tubes, a design that is a departure from the traditional, flat panel with a solid backing (see Solyndra Rolls Out Tube-Shaped Thin-Film).
The Fremont, Calif.-based Solyndra said the tubular design makes the panel more wind resistant and enables it to convert direct and indirect sunlight to electricity, including the light reflected from the rooftop. Solyndra's cells can convert 12 percent to 14 percent of the sunlight that hits them into electricity.
Carlisle SynTec has installed Solyndra's solar panels at its membrane factory in Tooele, Utah, to demonstrate the technology to potential customers and partners.
Carlisle installed a 3-kilowatt system and a 50-kilowatt system at its Tooele factory last week. It also plans to install a 3-kilowatt system on a test site in Carlisle, Penn., Gillenwater said.
Solyndra operates in a 300,000-square-foot complex made up of three buildings. The company makes its inner tubes in a 183,000-square-foot building at its headquarters in Fremont, Calif., where a second, 20,000-square-foot building serves as office space. A third building, located in nearby Milpitas, assembles the cylinders into panels.
The company said last month that it was increasing its production output to reach the 110-megawatt capacity at the inner-tube factory, which will allow Solyndra to roll out two million cylinders per year.
Solyndra also is looking to build a second, 420-megawatt factory on the same street in Fremont (see Solyndra Plans Huge Thin-Film Factory). Gronet declined to say how much the company expects to spend to build the factory.
Solyndra has raised $600 million since its inception in 2005.