Suniva Secures $500M Solar Cell Deal With Solon

Suniva, that Atlanta-based solar cell maker that makes highly efficient low cost cells, says this morning that it has scored a massive European customer — Solon AG, one of Europe‚Äôs largest solar module makers based in Berlin. The startup has signed a 4-year contract to deliver $500 million worth of solar cells to Solon.

It’s a significant customer win for the two-year-old startup, and follows on the heels of Suniva’s announcement that it has signed a five-year contract with Norwegian polysilicon producer REC to have access to $300 million worth of silicon wafers to produce cells. The company will use that polysilicon supply in its first manufacturing plant it is building in Gwinnett County, Georgia; the plant will have initial solar production capacity of 32 MW, with a potential for expansion to over 100 MW.

While the company makes its cells from silicon, it manufactures them thinner, reducing the overall cost. At the same time the company claims it will eventually hit a high efficiency of over 20 percent. The company is backed by over $50 million from New Enterprise Associates, Advanced Equities, Goldman Sachs Group, HIG Ventures and Quercus Investments.