SolarPower raises $1.1m

The firm expects private customers will soon be able to generate electricity and sell it to the government.

Photovoltaic energy system integration company SolarPower Israel Ltd. has raised $1.1 million at a company value of a few million dollars from Precede Technologies Ltd. and Rosenram Development Ltd. The company plans to use the funding to expand its business in Israel and internationally.

SolarPower mainly distributes technology of Japan's Kyocera Corporation (NYSE: KYU; TSE: 6791), the world' second largest manufacturer of photovoltaic power cells. SolarPower co-CEOs Avinoam Levy and Alon Tamari founded the company in 2003. The company anticipates rapid growth in Israel's photovoltaic energy market following an update to the Electricity Regulations to allow the government to buy electricity generated by solar energy systems installed at businesses, commercial enterprises, and private homes at nearly four times the rate of electricity generated by usual means.

Tamari said, "The decision by the Public Utilities Authority (Electricity) to approve financial incentives greatly boosts the viability for the installation of solar power systems." He added that the company had a few million dollars in sales in 2005, and has subsequently had 30-50% annual growth, in line with the growth of the solar power market. He said that the company has been profitable since 2005.

Precede Technologies partner Nimrod Goor said, "This investment is significant not only financially, but also at the strategic level." He predicts that the new regulations, which will boost the use of photovoltaic energy systems, will be approved within months.

SolarPower's customers include global high-tech companies operating in Israel, such as Hewlett Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), and Applied Materials Inc. (Nasdaq: AMAT), which are examining the installation of photovoltaic energy systems, irrespective of the pending government subsidiaries. Private customers include people seeking to benefit from the subsidies by installing the systems.

In Africa, SolarPower is installing photovoltaic energy systems for telecommunications networks in areas with no link to electricity grids.

Precede Technologies is a joint entrepreneurship and investment company owned by Pitango Venture Capital and Evergreen Venture Partners. Rosenram is a business development and investment house founded by Dr. Joshua Rosensweig and Revital Aviram.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on March 5, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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