HENDERSON, USA: The North Carolina Department of Commerce announced that Semprius Inc., a leading innovator in high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) solar modules, received an incentives package to build a pilot production plant in Henderson, N.C.
The incentives package includes a State of North Carolina Job Development Investment Grant, and grants from the Golden LEAF Foundation, Vance County, the One North Carolina Fund, and the North Carolina Community College System, and totals more than $7.88 million. The incentives package comes on the heels of Semprius securing $20 million in its first tranche of Series C venture fundraising led by Siemens Venture Capital earlier this month. Semprius will use the incentives package and venture funding to construct the pilot HCPV module production plant beginning later this month.
The first phase of the pilot plant will be 50,000 square feet and employ 60 people. Semprius plans to expand within the next several years to 150,000 square feet and will eventually employ 256 people at the pilot production plant. Semprius will make an $89.7 million capital investment in the pilot plant, and the plant will draw $120 million in investment to the region.
“Semprius chose to bring their business to North Carolina because our investments in education and job training ensure they can find the work-ready employees they need,” said Gov. Bev Perdue. “This company is on the cutting edge in the solar energy field and we welcome them to North Carolina, the smart grid capital of the world.”
Semprius builds its HCPV modules using novel processes that combine extremely tiny solar cells with low-cost, efficient optics, and improve long-term reliability and performance. Semprius also utilizes an automated manufacturing process, leveraging standard manufacturing equipment and commodity materials, to dramatically reduce capital and labor costs.
“Demand for CPV is expected to grow exponentially over the next several years to greater than 6 gigawatts by 2020,” said Joe Carr, president and CEO of Semprius. “We have designed our modules to be efficient, low-cost and reliable, gathering energy from the sun that is converted into electricity in a clean, efficient manner.”
The Semprius pilot production plant, expected to be operational in August 2012, will have an initial capacity of 5 megawatts (MW) and is expandable to 35 MW as needed.
“Semprius HCPV modules can concentrate the sun more 1,000 times for highly efficient conversion into electricity,” said Carr. “We believe HCPV solar technology is leading us toward achieving grid parity with fossil-based fuels, and we’re proud that the state of North Carolina and Vance County find our technology as important to the future of clean energy as we do.”