Solar cell manufacturer Sunpreme has closed over $50m in financing led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group, joining existing investors including Silicon Valley-based Capricorn Investment Group and Beijing-based Tsing Capital, through its China Environment Fund III.
The capital will be used to construct a new facility in Jiaxing, Zhejiang. The city is just north of Shanghai and on the Jiangsu border. I know next to nothing about Zhejiang province's NDRC or solar policy. Jiaxing is located right in the center of China's PV manufacturing center with most of the big ten just across the border.
Jiaxing is also close to one of the many areas in China that the government likes to call their 'Silicon Valley': the Huaqiao International Business Service Park (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-05/21/c_13308022.htm). Though calling a place a 'Silicon Valley' is the sloppiest geographical metaphor since cities all of the world were labelled the 'Paris' of some location, this area does contain the vast majority of the country's PV industry.
‘Over the past 18 months, Sunpreme has demonstrated for the first time a commercially viable metallurgical Silicon solar cell technology. Our first three US patents for the innovative device structure have been granted and we are now moving to scale production of the SmartSilicon cells in the new Jiaxing facility, near Shanghai, with world-class environmental and social management systems fully supported by the local government,’ said Ashok Sinha, Sunpreme chairman and CEO in the company's official press release.
Sunpreme said its latest commercial effort will allow it to bring its technologies to key emerging markets such as Latin America, Africa, China and India.
The Capricorn Investment Group led the initial funding round and is Sunpreme’s largest investor. China Environment Fund III is one of a series of funds established and managed by Tsing Capital since 2002, and is the first series of funds in China with a focus on cleantech and environment-related investments.