First Solar, a leading provider of solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions, has announced that it has acquired Evolar, a Swedish company focused on developing perovskite technology for tandem solar cells.

Perovskites are a class of materials that have attracted significant attention in the solar industry due to their potential to enable low-cost, high-performance tandem solar cells. Tandem solar cells combine two or more layers of different materials that can absorb different parts of the solar spectrum, resulting in higher conversion efficiency than conventional single-junction cells.

“We anticipate that high-efficiency tandem PV modules will define the future, speeding up decarbonization by allowing us to convert sunlight into clean electricity more efficiently. This acquisition supplements our existing R&D streams with expertise in thin film semiconductors complementing CadTel. We expect that it will accelerate our efforts to develop tandem technology that continues our commitment to ultra-low carbon, responsibly produced solar,” commented Mark Widmar, chief executive officer of First Solar.

Evolar was founded in 2019 by researchers to develop solutions for commercializing perovskite-based tandem solar technology. The company has developed proprietary manufacturing equipment and processes for depositing perovskite thin films on top of silicon or other substrates.

Under the terms of the agreement, which were not disclosed, First Solar will pay approximately $38 million at closing and up to an additional $42 million, subject to certain technical milestones being achieved in the future. Evolar’s laboratory in Uppsala will continue to conduct research activity, while approximately 30 of its R&D staff will join First Solar and work closely with its existing team of about 60 scientists at its advanced research technology center in Santa Clara, California, and the development teams in Perrysburg, Ohio.

To accelerate the development and production of its advanced thin-film PV technology, First Solar is building a new R&D facility in Ohio with an expected investment of up to $370 million. The acquisition of Evolar will allow First Solar to further enhance its perovskite technology and combine it with its existing platform.

According to Mercom’s Annual and Q4 2022 Solar Funding and M&A report, 27 solar M&A transactions were recorded in Q1 2023 compared to 38 in Q4 2022 and 29 solar M&A transactions in Q1 2022.