28 January 2014
- Project Pilot-Scale Plant for the Production of Solar Anti-Reflection Coatings
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht today opened a new facility in Queensland which will use landmark technology to produce an anti-reflection coating for all types of solar panels.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht today opened a new facility in Queensland, which will use landmark technology to produce an anti-reflection coating for all types of solar panels.
The Australian Government has committed more than $2 million to Brisbane Materials through ARENA initiatives to develop the solar coating technology, which has the potential to increase the output and efficiency of renewable energy in Australia and overseas.
Mr Frischknecht said this is one of many projects ARENA is investing in to help drive efficient and affordable renewable energy solutions.
“The high-performance anti-reflective coating technology produced by Brisbane Materials is expected to provide a low cost, commercially viable way to increase the efficiency of newly manufactured solar panels,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“ARENA understands the importance of investing right across the innovation chain, from research and development to commercialisation.
“This technology has evolved from a university laboratory to pilot-scale production and is based on landmark research developed at the University of Queensland.”
Brisbane Materials CEO Gary Wiseman said the new pilot-scale facility in Darra, Queensland would allow the company to further advance the commercialisation of its technology.
“The funding we have received from ARENA and our other investors has been vital to us developing a turnkey solution for integrating the coating into existing panel manufacturing operations,” Mr Wiseman said.
“Brisbane Materials is now in the exciting position of being able to scale up operations at our new Queensland headquarters while expanding sales and marketing efforts around the world.”
Mr Frischknecht described the opening of the facility as a significant milestone.
“Today’s opening of the Brisbane Materials pilot-scale plant demonstrates what can be achieved when industry, universities and government work together to progress forward-looking, exportable processes and products,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“The Australian Government’s support of this project through ARENA is encouraging Australian discovery and providing the opportunity to expand Australia’s export base in efficient, cost-effective renewables.”
Additional funding details
In addition to an initial funding injection of almost $1.3 million from the Australia Solar Institute (now part of ARENA), Brisbane Materials has received $2.5 million through the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund. The company also has a matching investment of $2.5 million from US-based New Ventures Partners LLC.
The $200 million Southern Cross Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund is a co-investment arrangement run under ARENA’s Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund Program and managed by Southern Cross Venture Partners.
It is the largest venture capital fund dedicated to renewable energy in Australia, with the Australian Government’s $100 million commitment matched dollar for dollar by Softbank China Venture Capital.