Nope, it's not the news so many of you have been longing for: Nanosolar, the flexible solar panel company here in Silicon Valley is not yet announcing its initial public offering plans. But the company is taking a big step forward on its way toward becoming a viable company.
Nanosolar is announcing that it has shipped its first megawatt of solar panels. They're headed to a power plant in eastern Germany.
The news comes a day after competitor Ascent Solar enjoyed a big announcement of its own: the on-time delivery and installation of all the equipment needed to complete its 1.5 megawatt production facility. It's a big deal for the company, and a big deal for the flexible solar panel market.
I have detailed Nanosolar's story in a previous blog, with it attracting well over $100 million in venture funding, including investments from the Google guys and various other Silicon Valley superstars. The company tells a compelling tale of building that better mousetrap in the white hot world of renewable, green, environmentally appeasing power generation.
The thing that separates Nanosolar from so many others is its ability to "print" the solar material onto flexible panels made of metal. Think inkjet printing meets tinfoil meets solar panel. Cool stuff at a time when traditional silicon that composes today's rigid solar panels is becoming more expensive as they new, upstart companies compete with established semiconductor manufacturers for the same material.
Company CEO Martin Roscheisen, on his blog this morning, is ecstatic. As far as the first three of the company's commercial panels are concerned, the first will remain at Nanosolar's new, San Jose, Calif. headquarters on exhibit; the second will be up for sale on eBay, starting today; and the third panel will be donated to the Technology Museum of Innovation here in Silicon Valley.
Nanosolar calls its device the "world's lowest-cost solar panel, which we believe will make us the first solar manufacturer capable of profitably selling solar panels at as little as 99 cents a watt." The company continues to generate enormous interest. We'll have to wait to see whether the news spurs Nanosolar execs into moving up plans for an IPO.
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