Suniva adds GT Solar cofounder Kedar Gupta to board

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Solar-cell manufacturer Suniva has added GT Solar cofounder and former CEO Kedar Gupta to its board of directors, joining New Enterprise Associates partners Harry Weller
and Ravi Viswanathan, NEA principal Jon Sakoda, as well as Suniva CEO
John Baumstark and CTO Ajeet Rohatgi.

In addition to providing international operational insight to Suniva, the company says that Gupta will support the work of Stephen Shea, Suniva’s VP of
manufacturing. The new director will lend his expertise to Shea and the
team as they further strengthen the company’s PV manufacturing process as it scales production of its high-efficiency, low-cost monocrystalline solar cells. 

“As Suniva’s technology has proven, it is possible to lower production costs while maintaining high efficiencies–and Suniva has the right team in place to make it all happen,” said Gupta on accepting the position. “As the company enters the high-volume manufacturing stage and continues to strengthen its production process, I will gladly lend my solar industry experience to this already outstanding executive team.”

“Kedar’s deep experience in leading an international company through
its many stages of growth and building it into a world-class commercial
enterprise will be invaluable as Suniva expands production,” added Suniva’s
Baumstark. “Following our last round of funding, we
focused on developing a strategic board of directors that adds
considerable value to our highly regarded executive team.”

Before his 12-year stint at chairman/CEO of GT Solar when the company averaged 40% growth rates, Gupta managed the systems equipment division of Ferrofluidics. More recently, he founded Advanced Renewable Energy Co., a clean energy technologies developer.

Gupta’s appointment comes after Suniva has pushed its R&D cell efficiencies to 20% or better and recently signed a pair of deals worth about $1 billion with Solon and Titan Energy to supply cells for the companies’ solar module lines.

–Tom Cheyney

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