Usually when we’re talking about startups with thin-film solar cell technology, they’re working with copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) or silicon. Sunovia, however, wants to follow in the footsteps of the $21 billion giant First Solar.
Both make thin-film cells based off cadmium telluride (CdTe), a substance that works well in solar cells but is also toxic. CdTe cells have also outstripped by the efficiency of CIGS cells, at least in laboratory conditions.
Part of what distinguishes Sunovia, at least according to its own statement, is an efficient and compact scheme for manufacturing that can produce 100 megawatts of cells a year from a 10,000 square foot facility. Other companies require substantially larger manufacturing areas.
Sunovia is planning to have a manufacturing line up and running within two years. Aside from its solar cell business, the company also has an LED lighting subsidiary called EvoLucia, which just completed a first installation.
The source of the $12 million funding was not disclosed. Sunovia says it has raised over $25 million to date. The company, based in Sarasota, Florida, is trade on the over-the-counter bulletin board as SUNV.