Konarka Technologies, Inc., a Lowell, Massachusetts-based developer and manufacturer of solar plastic films, recently announced that it opened the largest roll-to-roll flexible thin film solar manufacturing facility in the world. The facility is in a 250,000 square foot building in New Bedford, Massachusetts that was previously used by Polaroid Corporation. The following video provides a brief overview of the company:
"This facility has state-of-the-art printing capabilities that are ready for full operation, with the future potential to produce over a gigawatt of flexible plastic solar modules per year," commented Howard Berke, executive chairman and co-founder of Konarka. "Our technical leadership and innovation in flexible thin film solar, along with this facility’s capabilities of producing in excess of 10 million square meters of material per year, will allow us to produce Power Plastic for indoor, portable, outdoor and building integrated applications."
"Since 2001, Konarka has taken revolutionary lab discoveries from its founding scientists to pilot production for initial customers and now to full-scale manufacturing with the near future capacity of one gigawatt per year, which could contribute to the power and electricity needs of our nation and the avoidance of CO2 emissions," said Rick Hess, president and CEO at Konarka. "As one of the original recipients of the Solar American Initiative (SAI) awards in 2007, Konarka is furthering the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) vision to reach its goal of making solar electricity from photovoltaics cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity."
"With our nationally recognized technology expertise and resources, Massachusetts is becoming a global center for alternative and renewable energy, and Konarka is helping to solidify our commitment to a clean energy future and ongoing economic development and job growth in the Commonwealth," said, Daniel O’Connell, Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development.
Scott W. Lang, Mayor of New Bedford, added, "We are excited that Konarka is bringing new jobs to help further drive the economy and interest in the city of New Bedford, and we are proud that our city is home once again to an industry leading manufacturing plant."
Konarka has obtained more than $100 million from venture capital and private equity funds thusfar, including 3i Group, Chevron, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), Good Energies, Massachusetts Green Energy Fund, Mackenzie Financial, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and Asenqua Ventures. The company has also received $18 million in government agency research grants from the U.S. and Europe.
For more information:
- Konarka – Home page
- Konarka Opens World's Largest Roll-to-Roll Thin Film Solar Manufacturing Facility with One Gigawatt Nameplate Capacity (October 7, 2008)
- Konarka Secures $45 Million in Private Capital Financing (October 1, 2007)
- Konarka Raises $20 Million in Venture Capital Financing Led by 3i (February 14, 2006)
- Konarka Secures Additional Financing from Lighthouse Capital (May 17, 2005)
- Clean Energy Funds Invest in Konarka (September 28, 2004)
- European Investors Back Konarka (July 7, 2004)
- Konarka Raises $18 Million (June 23, 2004)
- Konarka Technologies Secures up to $2 Million Line of Credit From Silicon Valley Bank (September 7, 2003)
- Konarka Technologies Financing Reaches $13.5 Million, Completes Series B Financing (October 21, 2002)
- Zero Stage Capital Invests in Konarka Technologies, Inc. (August 27, 2001)