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Green Grants To Xunlight: CEO Xunming Deng (Part 6)

Posted on Tuesday, Mar 31st 2009

SM: What did you do with the $7 million you raised in 2007?

XD: We built a 2 megawatt pilot line, which is a roll-to-roll production line, to produce flexible and lightweight amorphous silicon PV modules. It was almost identical to the full-scale production line we designed for later build out. We used the same prints for both.

SM: In 2007, after you raised venture money, did you start getting customers?

XD: We had been talking to potential customers all along; they were just waiting for our product to come.

SM: When did you actually start closing customers?

XD: We have not sold a product to customers yet. We have a lot of customers who have signed letters of intent. We are scheduled to introduce the product to the marketplace later this year. We have introduced product into the trade shows, and that has generated enormous interest. We are getting ready to sign a product purchase agreement that is worth a few hundred million. I did not want to introduce a product which would not have been the killer product in the market because we need to defend our brand name. We have actually signed letters of intent for about $800 million in product.

SM: Let’s talk more about the letter of intent process.

XD: Most of our customers come to us because they have only been able to source their requirements from one company.

SM: Which is Uni-Solar.

XD: Yes. Uni-Solar is currently the only company producing flexible solar roofing modules that are commercially available. There are many companies producing and selling PV products, but most are not flexbile. Some customers require flexible solar roofing products for their commercial rooftop installations. Currently, Uni-Solar is their sole source. We are going to be the second source. Our costs are potentially going to be much lower, and we have plans to expand our capacity much faster. That is why there is so much interest in our product. I want to take a conservative approach and make sure our product can go through all the torture in the environmental testing. Our products must be really robust before we sell.

SM: When will your product be ready to be sold?

XD: The end of third quarter 2009 is our target date.

SM: People know about your upcoming solution because you have gone and spoken about it in trade shows. Have people found out about it in any other way?

XD: Trade shows are the primary manner. The venture capitalist may introduce it to other companies, but we found them through the trade shows.

SM: Aside from Xunlight and Uni-Solar, there is nobody else that does the production lines for photovoltaics in the market?

XD: Many people are trying to build large-scale roll-to-roll production lines to manufacture flexible solar modules. I certainly feel that we and Uni-Solar are the leading companies. I feel we are the closest to bringing products to the market.

SM: Where are your manufacturing lines going to be?

XD: Our roll-to-roll production lines will be here in Toledo.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Green Grants To Xunlight: CEO Xunming Deng
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Hi Sramana,

I do not understand what you mean when you say that Uni-Solar is the only company making PV?

So are all the other companies just assembling these cells into modules?

What about the thin solar film manufacturer?

Are you talking specifically about certain type of PV cells?

I am obviously missing something.

Siddharth

Siddharth Chawla Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 11:32 AM PT

Hi Siddharth, Xunming has provided more information about Uni-Solar above.

Melanie Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 1:56 AM PT