New email from nanosolar Nanosolar Ups Funding to $1/2 Billion; Partners Strategically for Solar Utility Power As part of a strategic $300 million equity financing, Nanosolar has added new capital and brought its total amount of funding to date to just below half a billion U.S. dollars. Last December, we introduced the Nanosolar Utility Panel(TM) to enable solar utility power — i.e. giving utility-scale power producers the solar panel technology to build and operate cost efficient solar power plants. The tremendous demand for our unique product was matched by the desire to support us in scaling its availability even more rapidly and ambitiously. Today we are pleased to announce that we have received strategic backing by partners ideally suited to accelerate the implementation of this business — in the form of product supply agreements, strategic collaboration, and equity investments. As part of the transaction, the boards of directors of AES Corporation (one of the world's largest power companies), the Carlyle Group, EDF (the world's largest electric utility), and Energy Capital Partners signed off on investments into Nanosolar through Riverstone Holdings, EDF Renewables, and simultaneously formed AES Solar. A fraction of the oversubscribed Nanosolar equity round also included financial investors such as Lone Pine Capital, the Skoll Foundation, and Pierre Omidyar's fund as well as returning investors including GLG Partners, Beck Energy, and Conergy founding investor Grazia Equity. The transaction closed in March 2008. The alliance for solar utility power is the outcome of a year long effort on behalf of our strategic partners examining the solar industry, investigating virtually every solar company on the planet, and conducting one of the most thorough due diligence efforts on our manufacturing operation, our scale-up capabilities, and our readiness for the level of cost efficiency demanded by solar utility power. We are honored to have been selected as the company of choice to partner with by such a distinguished and sophisticated group. The new capital will allow us to accelerate production expansion for our 430MW San Jose factory and our 620MW Berlin factory. (Earlier, Nanosolar secured a 50% capex subsidy on its Germany based factory.) Going All-ElectricAugust 7, 2008 By Martin Roscheisen, CEO The following is one of my favorite charts: How far a car can drive based on either of the following forms of energy, each produced from 100m x 100m (2.5 acres) of land: How come that biofuel does not really cut it? Electric cars are about four times more energy efficient than fuel based cars. This is because fuel engines mostly creates heat and thus wastes the majority of the energy units available. Combine this with biofuel plants not being very efficient solar energy harvesters relative to semiconductor based solar electricity, and the result is this huge difference. In other words, it is clear that if the goal is to maximize energy efficiency, the end point to go after is all-electric cars everywhere. Moving all of transportation to all-electric would essentially cut in half our overall energy consumption without compromising on distance to go. I for one have vowed that the Prius I bought six years ago will have been the last fuel powered car I'd buy in my life. (Given that I may very well own the highest-mileage Prius on the planet, this presumably reflects my confidence in the quality of this vehicle and the near-term readiness of electric car technology…) Presently, it is baking in the sun all day while I'm at work. My future all-electric car would charge up while idling under a solar carport. Nanosolar Receives U.S. Senate Environment Award // Getting a Federal RPS Right U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and her staff today visited Nanosolar to tour our factory and present us with the U.S. Senate Conservation Champion award. We are honored to be awarded this recognition — thank you very much! During our meeting with the U.S. Senator, we discussed the importance of getting a Federal RPS right in 2009. Getting a Federal RPS Right The state level Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) we have today are limited in a key way: They are primarily geared towards large-scale, centralized generation, i.e. power plants of larger than 50MW in size. That's the old mindset — preferring one 300MW plant over thirty 10MW plants. But a lot of today's action and opportunity in renewables is in decentralized 1-10MW generation, including municipal solar power plants and other forms of power generation at the local level. No well-designed RPS should have a built-in bias against small & medium sized power generation. For instance, in California, we have one policy framework (the California Solar Incentives, CSI) for sub-1MW solar installations, connected locally; and we have an RPS that works for >20MW power generation, connected to transmission lines. In between we have a policy gap for renewable generation of one to twenty MW in size, which is often directly connected into the municipal grid, i.e. without having to use transmission lines: No federal energy policy should favor big power plants over medium sized ones; and the state level policies should be reworked in this regard too. Specifically, by avoiding the substantial expense and energy loss associated with transmission infrastructure, small and medium sized power plants have an economic benefit to the public, and this ought to be reflected as a corresponding commercial benefit. Another key element to get right in the next generation of RPS is better transparency and project pipeline predictability. Only a predictable environment will be an investible one. One way of achieving good predictability are standard contracts which the utilities have to accept.