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Semprius solar cells to be installed on Edwards Air Force Base

Durham startup Semprius announced Monday that its solar panels will be installed at Edwards Air Force Base in California next year.

Defense contractor Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will install a 200-kilowatt system of Semprius’ cells as part of a $2.3 million grant it received from the U.S.

Department of Defense. The system is expected to produce more than 400,000 kilowatts annually, or enough power for about 40 homes.

The installation at Edwards Air Force base is designed to demonstrate the performance and cost-effectiveness of Semprius’ technology. Semprius’ high-performance solar cells are expected to significantly lower the cost of solar power.

The company has previously named two other customers: Chevron and Siemens. Siemens, which is working with Pratt &Whitney on the California installation, owns a 16 percent stake in Semprius.

In September, Semprius opened a solar panel factory in Henderson. The facility has 60 employees and Semprius has plans to hire more than 250 employees to work there over the next several years.

Semprius to open manufacturing plant to make super-efficient solar panels

Durham solar panel innovator Semprius is two weeks away from opening a manufacturing facility in Henderson that is expected to employ more than 250 people at assembling the world's most efficient solar panels.

Semprius said today it will open its facility Sept. 26. Company officials, and many supporters in industry and government, see the Semprius plant as a milestone for the Durham startup and a potential leap forward for clean energy.

The 60-employee company says its high-efficiency panels will bring down costs to the point that solar energy will no longer require government subsidies. Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology vouched for those claims by listing Semprius on the university's prestigious roster of the world's most important emerging technologies.

Durham startup Semprius on list of world's most promising technologies

A Durham technology company that claims to have set a world record for solar panel efficiency was named on a prestigious list of the world’s most important emerging technologies.

Semprius is among 10 companies, including Facebook, that made the annual list compiled by Technology Review, a journal published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

MIT’s criterion for selecting emerging technologies is their potential to change the world.

Semprius’ high-performance solar cells are expected to significantly lower the cost of solar power and will be produced near Henderson, where the company is planning to open a manufacturing plant in the second half of this year.

The company is now involved in global demonstration projects for its advanced solar cells.

The Semprius cells convert nearly 34 percent of sunlight into electricity, beating the previous record by about 50 percent.

Durham-based Semprius raises $3 million

Semprius, a Durham semiconductor startup that is building a solar panel manufacturing facility in Henderson, announced Thursday that it has raised $3 million in additional funding from a group of investors that includes Chapel Hill-based Morgan Creek Capital Management.

The private company has already raised more than $30 million in venture funding, including a $20 million round that closed in July. Corporate giant Siemens, a leading builder of solar farms, acquired a 16 percent stake in the company in June.

Other investors in this latest round include the Illinois Emerging Technologies Fund and In-Q-Tel, an investment firm affiliated with the CIA.

Semprius also announced Thursday that Gregory Wolf, president of Duke Energy Renewables, has joined the company's board of directors.

Semprius employs 38 people in Research Triangle Park.

Semprius to create 256 jobs in Vance County

Semprius, a semiconductor company based in Durham, will receive just shy of $18.3 million from state and local governments for building a solar cell manufacturing facility near Henderson.

The company will need to create 256 jobs over the next five years and meet other investment goals to receive the total package of grants and tax incentives. Semprius currently employs 29 people and has to keep those positions to qualify for incentives.

The manufacturing jobs will pay an average annual salary of $45,565. The average annual salary in Vance County is $30,004.

The decision to award the incentives was made this morning by the N.C. Commerce Department's Economic Investment Committee. Gov. Bev Perdue will make an official announcement about the jobs at 10 a.m. today at Vance-Granville Community  College in Henderson.

Durham startup Semprius raises $20.6 million

Durham startup Semprius has raised $20.6 million in equity funding, the company reported in a regulatory filing today.

Last week, Semprius announced that corporate giant Siemens had acquired a 16 percent stake in the company, which is developing next-generation solar devices.

Terms of that investment weren't disclosed.

Semprius CEO Joe Carr declined to say today whether the $20.6 million included the Siemens investment.

He said the company would release more detailed information about the funding round next week.

Semprius is also seeking to raise an additional $9.3 million in equity funding, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The additional capital will be used to build a plant to manufacture Semprius' solar cells.

Siemens acquires minority stake in Durham semiconductor startup

Siemens has acquired a 16 percent stake in Semprius, a Durham startup that is developing next generation solar devices.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Semprius CEO Joe Carr said the investment is part of a larger venture capital round, the full details of which will be announced next week.

The company, which has about 30 employees, has raised more than $10 million in venture capital financing from Durham's Intersouth Partners and others.

Semprius has been working with Siemens Industry on building and deploying demonstration units of its solar cells.

This latest investment is by the renewable energy division of Siemens Energy.

The additional capital will be used to build a plant to manufacture Semprius’ solar cells.

Durham tech firm nabs $3 million in stimulus money

Durham semiconductor maker Semprius qualified today for $3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to speed up development of its next-generation solar energy technology.

Semprius is the only North Carolina out of four nationwide that qualified for $12 million in stimulus funds and federal grants announced today. The money will be awarded in stages over 18 months upon completion of project milestones.

The five-year-old company is developing a technology that concentrates solar rays by means of smaller semiconductors and special lenses. By concentrating solar rays by a factor of 1000, Semprius is attempting to reduce the area -- and cost -- of the solar photovoltaic cells required to generate electricity.

Semprius employs 28 people and has received nearly $20 million in venture capital and other investments. 

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