In The New York Times on Friday, I write that Solyndra, a Silicon Valley photovoltaic module maker, has become the first solar startup in years to brave the public markets:
Solyndra, a well-financed solar module maker, filed a registration statement for an initial public offering on Friday to raise $300 million to expand its manufacturing capacity.
It would be the biggest solar-related offering in years and follows the stock-market debut of the electric car battery-maker A123 Systems in September.
Based in Fremont, Calif., Solyndra emerged from stealth mode in October 2008 having secured $600 million in venture financing and $1.2 billion in orders. The company, founded in 2005 by veterans of the chip equipment maker Applied Materials, has since raised nearly $200 million more in venture funds.
The company makes cylindrical thin-film solar modules designed for commercial rooftops. The round modules collect sunlight from all angles, allowing the solar panels to be placed horizontally and packed close together, increasing efficiency and lowering installation costs, according to Solyndra.
Solyndra secured a $535 million loan guarantee from the United States Department of Energy in March to help finance the construction of a second factory near its headquarters. In September, the company applied for an additional government loan guarantee to help pay for the second phase of the $1.38 billion factory, according to the registration statement.
You can read the rest of the story here.