First Solar to buy Evolar for $80 million

First Solar PV modules

First Solar has acquired Evolar AB, a leader in perovskite technology, for $80 million as part of its plan to strengthen its global leadership in thin film photovoltaics (PV).

First Solar will pay the purchase price of approximately $38 million at closing and up to an additional $42 million — subject to certain technical milestones in the future. The impact to 2023 operating expenses is expected to be approximately $2-4 million, excluding the impact of purchase price accounting, First Solar said.

The acquisition is expected to accelerate the development of PV technology, including tandem devices, by integrating Evolar’s know-how with First Solar’s research and development (R&D) streams, intellectual property portfolio, and expertise in developing and commercially scaling thin film PV.

“This acquisition supplements our existing R&D streams with expertise in thin film semiconductors that complement CadTel,” said Mark Widmar, chief executive officer, First Solar.

Approximately 30 of Evolar’s R&D staff at its laboratory in Uppsala, Sweden, will transition to First Solar. They will be working with First Solar’s 60 scientists at its research technology center in Santa Clara, California, and the development teams in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Evolar has produced several thin film efficiency records, including the current 23.6 percent world record for CIGS research solar cells. Its team works with leading European research institutions, including Uppsala University.

First Solar is in the process of approaching over 20 gigawatts of nameplate capacity by 2025.

“The future of PV clearly lies in thin film semiconductors, and few other solar technology companies are as well placed to develop and commercialize future solar technologies as First Solar is,” said Markus Gloeckler, chief technology officer, First Solar.

In October 2022, First Solar announced that it would construct an innovation center in Perrysburg, Ohio, with an investment of up to $370 million in order to accelerate the development and production of advanced thin film PV.