Semprius to power $2.3M Pentagon solar project

 

DURHAM, N.C. — Solar technology startup Semprius will be putting photovoltaic modules produced at its new factory in Henderson as part of a Department of Defense contract.

Semprius said Monday that it will provide some 2,400 modules to produce solar power for Pratt & Whitnet Rocketdyne, which won a $2.3 million contract to demonstrate the potential of high concentration photovoltaic (HPCV) technology.

PWR will install a 200 kilowatt solar system at Edwards Air Force base in California using Semprius products.

The system is expected to produce enough power for some 40 homes.

Semprius’ proprietary technology has set records for conversion of solar energy into electricity and can deliver as much as 30 percent more power than other photovoltaic system, the company says.

“We are honored to be working with PWR to deliver our HCPV modules to the DoD,” said Joe Carr, CEO of Semprius. “We believe that our technology will play an increasingly important role in delivering cost-competitive, sustainable energy.”

Semprius, which is venture capital-backed, has been working with PWR since 2011 on a demonstration project at the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

“Having spent several years evaluating emerging PV technologies, we’ve selected Semprius because of the potential of their technology to drive down the cost of solar electricity significantly,” said Randy Parsley, Renewable Energy Program Manager at PWR, in a statement. “We look forward to executing this project with Semprius to help the DoD begin to achieve its energy independence and energy security goals.”

Semprius opened its production plant in Henderson on Sept. 26.

Semprius is based in Durham but chose Henderson for its first manufacturing facility. The company is eligible to receive some $8 million in state and local tax incentives.

Plans call for Semprius to hire some 250 workers over the next several years to man the Henderson facility.

Semprius has raised more than $40 million in venture capital from investors such as Intersouth Partners in Durham as well as In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA, plus Siemens Venture Capital.

In July, Semprius secured $8 million in credit.

Horizon Technology Finance Corporation and Silicon Valley Bank agreed to provide an $8 million venture loan “facility.”

Horizon will provide $5 million and Silicon Valley Bank the remaining $3 million.

 

By WRAL TechWire