PV silicon start-up Confluence Solar lands $12.7 million in Series A financing



Confluence Solar has raised $12.7 million in a Series A financing round led by Convexa Capital. The high-quality photovoltaic silicon manufacturer will use the money to help finance the opening of its new facility in Hazelwood, MO, where the company will develop its HiCz single-crystal product, which it says produces greater watt output than that found in traditional multicrystalline silicon platforms. 

Oslo, Norway-based Convexa was joined by Korean materials company DC Chemical, Norwegian concern Scatec Adventure, California venture capitalists Oceanshore Ventures, and other investors in the funding round. “Confluence Solar is developing a very attractive approach to lower the cost of ownership and improve the quality of silicon for solar applications,” said Bjørge Gretland, Convexa’s managing partner.

Alf Bjørseth, Scatec’s chairman, cited the presence of several silicon industry veterans in Confluence’s executive ranks (such as CEO Tom Cadwell, CCO Jim Highfill, and tech adviser John DeLuca), adding that the “technical approach has the potential to make a material change in producing silicon crystals for solar cells.”

“Solar cell manufacturers who want to be on the cutting-edge, delivering the most advanced use of solar technology, will want to utilize HiCz single-crystal silicon product,” claims Frank Delk, CTO of Confluence, noting that the company’s “strategy is to work closely with our customers to tailor our HiCz single crystal substrate to maximize the efficiency of their advanced solar-cell designs.”

Confluence, which was founded in 2007, says it has developed strategic relationships with key suppliers for all critical raw materials, supplies, and equipment–including polysilicon. One of those materials suppliers is DC Chemical, whose vice chairman Hyun Woo Shin said that the start-up’s “experienced management team and technical approach gained our support in both monetary investment and polysilicon supply agreements.”

— Tom Cheyney

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