1366 Technologies and Hanwha Q CELLS have entered into a long-term strategic partnership to jointly advance the efficiency and quality of solar cells while dramatically reducing their costs. The two companies will collaborate on the development of 1366's proprietary Direct Wafer™ Technology with the intent to commercialize and use Direct Wafers™ in Hanwha Q CELLS' world-renowned solar cells.
Upon successful commercialization of the Direct Wafer™ Technology, the companies expect to expand the partnership. Among others, the potential options include the supply of Direct Wafers™ from 1366's manufacturing facilities to Hanwha Q CELLS.
"Our mission at Hanwha Q CELLS is to be at the forefront of photovoltaic technology and to rapidly translate innovation into mass production," said Seong-woo Nam, CEO, Hanwha Q CELLS. "1366's Direct Wafer™ Technology is innovation at its best. We strongly believe in its potential to be commercialized in order to deliver significant cost reductions and quality improvements at the same time. "
1366 Technologies' Direct Wafer™ forms multi-crystalline wafers directly from molten silicon instead of today's multi-step, energy- and capital-intensive process. The result is a uniformly better wafer, created at one-half the cost. The technology also has the enormous benefit of being a "drop-in" replacement for 60 percent of the photovoltaics market, making it seamless for cell and panel manufacturers to readily adopt the technology without adding a single new piece of equipment.
1366 Technologies remains on track to build a 250 MW commercial facility in the United States. Construction is scheduled to begin in Q3 of 2015. To date, the Company has raised more than $64 million from private investors including The Hanwha Group, which participated in the Company's Series B round in 2010.