Reliance to Invest $12 Mn in Perovskite-based Solar Technology Company Caelux
With an aim to strengthen its footprint in advanced solar cell technology, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries’ renewables arm Reliance New Energy Ltd (RNEL) has signed definitive agreements to invest in the US-based Caelux Corporation (Caelux), a company engaged in the development of perovskite-based solar technology.
September 23, 2022. By Manu Tayal
As per the deal, RNEL will invest USD 12 million to acquire a 20 per cent stake in Caelux Corporation.
Caelux is an industry leader in the research and development of perovskite-based solar technology. Its proprietary technology enables high-efficiency solar modules that can produce 20 per cent more energy over the 25-year lifetime of a solar project at significantly lower installed cost.
Commenting on the investment, Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd, said, “The investment in Caelux aligns with our strategy to create the most advanced green energy manufacturing ecosystem, backed by world class talent, and built on the pillars of technological innovation achieved through strategic partnerships. We believe Caelux’s proprietary perovskite based solar technology provides us with access to next leg of innovation in crystalline solar modules. We will work along with team at Caelux to accelerate its product development and commercialization of its technology.”
For Caelux, this investment would accelerate product and technology development including the construction of its pilot line in the United States, for expediting the commercial development of its technology.
Besides, the two entities have also entered into a strategic partnership agreement for technical collaboration and commercialization of Caelux’s technology.
On the other hand, Reliance is setting up a global-scale integrated photovoltaic (PV) Giga factory at Jamnagar, Gujarat. Through this partnership, the $104.6 billion Petroleum major would be able to produce more powerful and lower-cost solar modules leveraging Caelux’s products.
On Reliance’s investment move, Scott Graybeal, CEO of Caelux Corporation, said, “Caelux is proud to have Reliance as a lead investor as we move to the next phase of our development and are grateful for Khosla Ventures’ support of the company over the years. Through the partnership with Reliance, we will accelerate our efforts to build out our manufacturing capabilities to produce products that make crystalline solar modules more efficient and cost-effective. We look forward to demonstrating the future of solar power at a scale as we support Reliance’s global expansion plans and product roadmap.”
“Caelux’s ‘perovskite on glass’ architecture is the innovation the solar industry needs to significantly reduce costs and accelerate renewables penetration. As an early backer of Caelux, we have been impressed with their technical progress and are excited to continue working with them as they embark on their commercial journey with Reliance,” said Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures.
Furthermore, the transaction will not require any regulatory approval and is expected to be completed by end of September 2022, subject to satisfaction of any condition’s precedent.
Caelux has been engaged in the development of perovskite-based solar technology that improves the relative performance of new crystalline silicon modules to make them more powerful and cost-effective. Its technology does not require any rare earth minerals but rather uses abundant, low-cost precursors, low-temperature production methods and readily available equipment in its localized manufacturing process.
The company would be constructing its pilot plant and building out a community-based workforce in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area to demonstrate the feasibility of scaling perovskites. Its commercialization roadmap consists of developing production sites across the US, Asia and Latin America.
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