GE Energy Financial Services invests in Soliant Energy

GE Energy Financial Services has decided to invest $2.5 million as well as provide the power of GE's ecomagination programme to solar module manufacturer Soliant Energy.

The company made its investment decision with the benefit of technical input from the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, New York, which evaluated Soliant's technology.

GE joins Soliant's other investors in its latest funding round, led by Convexa Capital. Earlier investors include RockPort Capital Partners, Nth Power, Trinity Ventures and Rincon Venture Partners.

For its part, GE is focusing on solar power as part of ecomagination, the company's programme to help its customers meet their environmental challenges while expanding its own portfolio of cleaner energy products.

"Concentrating photovoltaic solar power is especially viable for space-constrained applications such as commercial rooftops, and Soliant is well positioned with its elegant design, market-leading efficiency and potential for low installed cost per kilowatt hour of energy produced," said Kevin Walsh, MD and leader of renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services.

GE's vote of confidence in Soliant's technology adds to Soliant's development efforts, supported by the US Department of Energy, which is providing the company with $4 million as part of the Government's "Solar America" initiative for solar power.

Soliant is scheduled to ship its first products for commercial rooftop applications in late 2009.

Compatible with conventional racks and inverters, its modules leverage high efficiency solar cells and integrated two-axis tracking to maximise the total energy harvest. According to the company, this increased performance results in lower system costs, high energy density and corresponding high return on investment. Soliant plans to open a 40-megawatt production plant late next year.