Reliance Industries’ subsidiary Reliance New Energy (RNEL) has announced plans to invest in Caelux Corporation to produce more powerful and lower cost solar modules. In a bid to push India’s energy transition toward renewable sources, Mukesh Ambani‘s RNEL will invest $12 million to acquire a 20% stake in this solar technology company. US headquartered Caelux Corporation develops perovskite-based solar technology. Moreover, RNEL and Caelux have also entered into a strategic partnership agreement for technical collaboration and commercialisation of Caelux’s technology, RIL said in a statement on Friday.
Reliance Industries is setting up a global scale integrated photovoltaic Giga factory at Jamnagar, Gujarat. Reliance New Energy’s investment is likely to accelerate product and technology development for Caelux Corporation. “Caleux’s proprietary technology enables high efficiency solar modules that can produce 20% more energy over the 25-year lifetime of a solar project at significantly lower installed cost,” the company said. The transaction will not require any regulatory approval and is expected to be completed by end of this month, subject to satisfaction of any condition’s precedent, the company added.
Caelux, a spin out from the California Institute of Technology, was incorporated on 14 May 2014. The perovskite-based solar technology improves the relative performance of new crystalline silicon modules to make them more powerful and cost-effective. Caelux’s 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 localised manufacturing process.
RIL chief Mukesh Ambani said that the investment in Caelux aligns with the company’s’ strategy to create the most advanced green energy manufacturing ecosystem. “We believe Caelux’s proprietary perovskite based solar technology provides us with access to the next leg of innovation in crystalline solar modules. We will work along with the team at Caelux to accelerate its product development and commercialization of its technology,” Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries, said. Earlier this month, Reliance said it would acquire a 79.4% stake in California-based solar energy software developer SenseHawk for $32 million.
Caelux’s ‘perovskite on glass’ architecture is the innovation the solar industry needs to significantly reduce costs and accelerate renewables penetration, Vinod Khosla, Khosla Ventures, said in a statement. “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,” Khosla added.