Solar Firm Amonix Piles On $129M, Backed by Kleiner Perkins

Amonix, a 20-year-old company that has developed a 20-ton concentrating photovoltaic solar system for utility-scale solar projects, just joined the 9-digit funding club. This morning the Seal Beach, Calif.-based company said it has closed on a $129.4 million Series B financing round, led by the greentech venture capital celebrities at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Late last year Amonix closed on $40 million, and was reportedly looking to raised an additional $98.23 million, to help the company finance the addition of 300 MW of production capacity at two manufacturing facilities.

Concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) are a hybrid solar technology that uses mirrors and lenses to concentrate sunlight hundreds of times onto tiny, highly efficient solar cells. The systems are meant to cut back on one of the most expensive parts of traditional PV: the silicon-based solar panel. CPV units can also be smaller and more modular than their massive utility-scale solar thermal cousins being built in deserts around the world. There’s over a dozen companies working on CPV technology, most recently including oil giant Chevron.

Amonix will use its funding to — what else — deploy its technology and scale its business. Amonix has also been buying its way into expanding and in December acquired 2-year-old San Francisco startup Sunworks Solar, a developer of thin-film solar panel factories. Sunworks had developed a “platform” for utility-scale solar developments, including project finance, manufacturing services, equipment, work with local governments and other pieces of the puzzle for setting up manufacturing stateside.

Other participants in Amonix round include Adams Street Partners, Angeleno Group, PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund, Vedanta Capital LP, New Silk Route, The Westly Group and MissionPoint Capital Partners.

See the original post on Earth2Tech.com. By Katie Fehrenbacher. April 21, 2010.