The US Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative is providing CIGS thin-film start-up Siva Power with US$3 million in funding as part of the program to bring novel and highly innovative ideas to commercialisation.
Siva, led by semiconductor equipment industry pioneer and Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Brad Mattson and CIGS guru Dr. Markus Beck its CTO have extensively modelled a 300MW single production line that is claimed to have US$0.40/W production costs within the first year of operation, and scale to US$0.28/W two years after that.
The DOE funds were said to be used to actually demonstrate a CIGS co-evaporation source with 12x higher manufacturing throughput (m2/min) than currently available sources. This is seen as key to enabling a fully automated CIGS deposition system at a 3x reduction in capital expenditure, labour, and overall overhead costs per watt.
“There are two parts to the solution,” said Dr. Markus Beck, Siva Power CTO. “You need to have the right technology, but also the right processes to enable the efficient scaling of product in order to make a huge difference in the solar industry. I dedicated my career to seeing CIGS make it, and now we have the team and support to make it happen.”
A third part to the solution perhaps would be sufficient capital at low cost to effectively ramp and operate a CIGS thin-film line at a 300MW throughput.