SoloPower Raises $45M, Payday for Founders

SoloPower, a San Jose, Calif.-based thin-film solar startup working on copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) cells and panels, has raised nearly $45 million in debt financing, according to a regulatory filing. About $19.9 million of that amount will be paid to co-founders Bulent Basol and Homayoun Talieh, in what appears to be the last chapter of a lawsuit recently settled between Talieh and SoloPower.

Last year, Basol left his post as chief technology officer and Talieh exited from the chief executive role at the startup, which they founded in 2005. According to a Greentech Media report, Talieh ended up filing a lawsuit against SoloPower investors, alleging that he’d been wrongly pushed out and that the company’s backers were attempting to lower SoloPower’s price.

SoloPower contended that the company had missed deadlines by the time of Talieh’s ouster, but as GTM reported last week, the parties managed to reach a settlement. SoloPower agreed to buy out Talieh’s and Basol’s shares in the company, but until Friday’s filing the size of the deal was unknown.

SoloPower is now working to add an additional 60MW of capacity to its existing manufacturing facility, and planning to submit its first flexible CIGS module for independent certification by April 2010 and enter high-volume production later in the year. SoloPower said in a recent announcement that it expected its next round of funding to help finance that effort, and also meet the equity-share requirements of a Department of Energy loan guarantee, if the long-awaited — and still-pending — award comes through.

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