First Solar’s Acquisition of European Company Speeds Development of PV Technology

First Solar Inc. has acquired Evolar AB, a Swedish company specializing in perovskite technology, adding to its advances in thin-film photovoltaics. The purchase price is approximately $38 million paid at closing and up to an additional $42 million to be paid subject to certain technical milestones being achieved in the future. 

The acquisition is expected to accelerate the development of next-generation PV technology, including high-efficiency tandem devices, by integrating Evolar’s know-how with First Solar’s existing research and development streams, intellectual property portfolio, and expertise in developing and commercially scaling thin-film PV.

“With this acquisition, along with our new innovation center in the United States and longstanding commitment to R&D, we are investing not just in First Solar’s future, but the future of solar energy,” says Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “We anticipate that high-efficiency tandem PV modules will define the future, speeding up decarbonization by allowing us to convert sunlight into clean electricity more efficiently.” 

Under the agreement, the terms of which were not disclosed, Evolar’s laboratory in Uppsala, Sweden, will continue to conduct research, marking the first time that First Solar will have an R&D facility in Europe. Approximately 30 of Evolar’s R&D staff will transition to First Solar, working with the company’s team of about 60 scientists at its advanced research technology center in Santa Clara, Calif., and the development teams in Perrysburg, Ohio.

“By connecting our advanced research lab in California with Europe and building the Western Hemisphere’s largest PV R&D innovation center in Ohio, we are effectively establishing and leading a uniquely transatlantic effort to develop and commercialize the next generation of photovoltaics,” Widmar adds. 

Founded in 2019 by veterans of the copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) industry, Evolar focuses on developing solutions, including manufacturing equipment, for commercializing a tandem solar technology utilizing perovskite thin films. Made up of some of Europe’s foremost experts in thin film PV, Evolar has produced several thin-film efficiency records.

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