SoloPower Suspends Operations
Launched in 2009, SoloPower had bold ambitions to produce thin film PV products for limitless integration possibilities with rooftops, cars, trucks, trains, recreational vehicles and other personal and industrial electronic devices, all covered in PV material and plugged in to draw from the sun’s abundant energy. The company went on to raise $200 million in venture capital funding and received over $200 million in government commitments for loans, DOE loan guarantees and subsidies. In 2010, Solopower modules received UL certification for use in America and IEC certification for use in Europe. In 2011 the company announced plans to expand with a new factory in Oregon. Generally Solopower modules were considered too expensive and delivered lower efficiency at a time when the market experienced rapidly-declining prices and increasing performance efficiency. It turns out there were not enough customers willing to pay a premium for the lightweight, flexible solar product. As of April 2013, the company announced plans to suspend production, reduced the workforce to a skeleton crew and began to seek "strategic partners." This is corporate code for "we ran out of money."
SoloPanel SP1 and SP3 are second-generation, flexible photovoltaic modules for sixteen-inch standing-seam metal roofs and large-format flexible modules engineered for commercial and industrial building installation. SoloPanels use Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) thin film semiconductor material deposited on a flexible substrate and encapsulated in a moisture barrier laminate. SoloPower modules are configured for multiple adhesive applications or mounting solutions, enabling rapid installation as well as low-cost system integration with a wide variety of metal or membrane roof surfaces.