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7 February 2013

CIGS PV firm DayStar acquires 20% stake in Premier Global

DayStar Technologies Inc (DSTI), founded in California in 1998 to make copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic modules, says that its board of directors has approved the acquisition of a 20% equity ownership in Canadian firm Premier Global Holdings Corp, which has demonstrated solar cells that are the first to combine energy generation and power storage in one cell, it is claimed.

DayStar is issuing $12m in preferred stock in return for the 20% stake in privately held Premier. The preferred stock can be converted to common stock at $1.60 per share, and will pay an in-kind dividend of 5% per annum.

Developed at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Premier Global’s technology integrates photosynthesis into the photovoltaic system, permitting simultaneous generation and storage in a single solar cell for the first time, it is claimed. Each battery-like cell comes complete with two electrodes and an electrolyte. Light is absorbed by harvesting light molecules in the electrolyte. Charges are then transferred between the excited light-harvesting molecules and mediator molecules that are also in the electrolyte with nearly perfect quantum efficiency. The mediators store the harvested energy, which can then be extracted at the electrodes on demand. The system therefore addresses the natural intermittency of solar power and can make it available under low or no direct-sun conditions. The result is a built-in solution for reducing total demand on the local electrical grid.

“Premier’s photosynthesis photovoltaic (PV) system promises significantly lower total solar energy costs, good performance in low lighting conditions, along with a significantly reduced footprint, and a wide range of possible form factors,” says Premier’s president John Crawford, who was previously director of strategic ventures for Energizer Holdings (ENR). Crawford “looks forward to a successful partnership with DayStar, and its important network of affiliates and advisors throughout the world.”

DayStar’s president Lorne Roseborough said the new technology represents a “fundamental change” in the business model for solar energy, and will provide Daystar with “a significant competitive advantage in its efforts to facilitate utilities and their customers in designing more cost-effective and profitable renewable energy projects,” he reckons. “The technology will enable the deployment of units that could be built into apartments, offices, homes, and industrial sites, providing power during utility system outages and natural disasters.”

DayStar views the investment as strategic and long-term. “Having assembled a team of world-class engineers and system designers, and developed or co-developed projects now or soon to be underway around the world using today's technology, we are very well aware the critical role new technology will play in the expansion of the solar market,” says Roseborough. “By investing in Premier we gain access to an important piece of that future without committing the company to fund and manage its own research and development team.”  

Tags: DayStar CIGS


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