Valley start-up CaliSolar, which has an exclusive patent and several
pending on the purification of Upgraded Metallurgical Silicon (UMG Si),
has signed a purchase agreement with Timminco’s wholly-owned
subsidiary, Becancour Silicon, Inc., for 1,700 metric tons (MT) through
December 2012, with initial shipments starting in the third quarter of
2008. CaliSolar will use unblended UMG to produce multicrystalline
ingots and solar cells.
“CaliSolar, using BSI’s UMG Si, has made a major breakthrough in photovoltaic (PV) technology,” said Dr. Eicke Weber, a CaliSolar founder and Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany. “The impact of UMG Si in this important, rapidly expanding market can hardly be overstated. By 2015, half of the world’s PV production could be based on the use of UMG Si.”
“In their search for a solar grade silicon supplier, CaliSolar has done extensive tests with materials from many UMG Si producers and obtained cell efficiencies over 15% with our product.” said Mr. Rene Boisvert, President and CEO of BSI. “This agreement to supply CaliSolar is consistent with our strategy of supplying solar grade silicon to companies with the capability to produce solar cells with our material with efficiencies similar to cells produced with polysilicon.”
“When CaliSolar was founded two years ago, the mission of the company was to develop specific technologies to make highly efficient solar cells using 100% UMG Si,” said Roy Johnson, CEO of CaliSolar. “This contract with BSI allows CaliSolar to introduce a very competitive product during the third quarter of this year.”
CaliSolar has an exclusive patent license from UC Berkeley and eight patent applications related to improvements in ingot yields and overall UMG material quality improvements.