Thin-film solar company Konarka just landed a $5 million loan from the Emerging Technology Fund of Massachusetts Development Finance Agency and the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust‘s Business Expansion Initiative. The funds will be used to build out its new solar material factory in New Bedford, Mass., which has been open since October.
Konarka is known for making plastic solar film capable of turning natural and artificial light into power. Its current manufacturing plant can make enough thin-film cells to produce one gigawatt of energy, but executives told VentureWire that it will probably only create enough to generate tens of megawatts this year.
Previously, the Lowell, Mass.-based company raised more than $150 million in capital, not including the $20 million in research grants from governments in the U.S. and Europe. It brought in $45 million from oil and gas company Total in December, giving it a 20 percent stake. Other investors include 3i Group, Chevron, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, New Enterprise Associates, Vanguard Venture Partners, Good Energies, and Mackenzie Financial.
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