First Solar Inc. has acquired Swedish perovskite technology specialist Evolar AB, increasing its development in thin-film solar electricity. The purchase price is approximately $38 million to be paid at the time of closing, with an additional $42 million to be paid if certain technical milestones are met in the future.
The acquisition is expected to accelerate the development of next-generation photovoltaic technology, including high-efficiency tandem devices, by combining Evolar’s expertise with First Solar’s existing R&D pipeline, intellectual property portfolio and expertise to develop and commercially scale thin-film PV.
“With this acquisition, our new innovation center in the US and our long-term commitment to R&D, we are not only investing in the future of First Solar, but in the future of solar energy,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “We expect efficient tandem PV modules to define the future and accelerate decarbonization by enabling more efficient conversion of sunlight into clean electricity.”
Under the agreement, the terms of which were not disclosed, Evolar’s laboratory in Uppsala, Sweden, will continue the research, marking the first time First Solar has had a research and development facility in Europe. About 30 of Evolar’s R&D staff will move to First Solar to work with the company’s team of about 60 scientists at its Advanced Research Technology Center in Santa Clara, California, and development teams in Perrysburg, Ohio.
“By combining an advanced research laboratory in California with Europe and building the largest solar R&D innovation center in the Western Hemisphere in Ohio, we are effectively establishing and leading a unique transatlantic effort to develop and commercialize the next generation of solar power,” adds Widmar.
Founded in 2019 by veterans of the copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) industry, Evolar focuses on developing solutions, including fabrication equipment, for the commercialization of tandem solar technology utilizing perovskite thin films. Evolar is made up of some of Europe’s leading experts in the field of thin film electricity and has produced several thin film efficiency records.