China's Hanergy buys U.S. developer of thin-film solar cells

BEIJING Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:58am EDT

BEIJING Aug 13 (Reuters) - Chinese clean energy generator Hanergy Holding Group Ltd on Wednesday said it has broadened its solar power technology portfolio with the purchase of Alta Devices Inc, a California-based developer of thin-film solar cells.

The acquisition comes a year after Hanergy bought Arizona-based Global Solar Energy Inc, which in turn followed the purchases of Silicon Valley start-up MiaSole and Germany's Q Cells AG subsidiary Solibro GmbH.

Hanergy bought all of Alta Devices to further strengthen the Chinese company's position in the solar technology market, the parent of Hanergy Solar Group Ltd said in a statement without disclosing the purchase price.

"Hanergy plans to actively expand the application of Alta Devices' products in various mobile power application areas, ranging from emergency charging of mobile phones, to the automotive sector and the Internet of Things," Hanergy said in the statement.

Alta Devices, established in 2008, bases its solar cell technology on gallium arsenide rather than the more commonly used silicon.

Its cells can convert 30.8 percent of light received into electricity, Alta Devices Chief Executive Chris Norris said at a news conference called to announce the acquisition. That compared with an industry standard of around 25 percent.

That rate of conversion is the highest in the world and is high enough to even turn light received from indoor lighting into electricity, Norris said on Thursday in Beijing.

Alta Devices wants to see its technology used in electronics products and vehicles, and hopes Hanergy will build a factory to help realise that goal, Norris said.

Gallium arsenide is more expensive than silicon so Hanergy will work to lower production costs, Hanergy Chief Executive Li Hejun said at the news conference. (Reporting by Stian Reklev; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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