June 17, 2008

Intel Forms Independent Solar Cell Manufacturer SpectraWatt

Semiconductor major Intel has spun-off key assets of a start-up business effort inside its New Business Initiatives group to form an independent solar photovoltaic cell manufacturing company called SpectraWatt.

Intel Capital, Intel's global investment organization, is leading a $50 million investment round in SpectraWatt and is joined by Cogentrix Energy, PCG Clean Energy and Technology Fund and Solon. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2008.

SpectraWatt will manufacture and supply photovoltaic cells to solar module makers. In addition to focusing on advanced solar cell technologies, SpectraWatt will concentrate development efforts on improvements in the current manufacturing processes and capabilities to reduce the cost of photovoltaic energy generation.

SpectraWatt expects to break ground on its manufacturing and advanced technology development facility in Oregon, US, in the second half of 2008 with first product shipments expected by mid-2009.

Andrew Wilson, SpectraWatt's CEO and former general manager in the Intel New Business Initiatives group, said: "The formation of SpectraWatt is an important step forward in the renewable energy market. We are pleased to work with these companies in the goal of moving toward long-term national energy independence."