Verditek, developer of lightweight solar panels along with Paragraf, a Cambridge-based graphene technology developer, announced that it has raised GBP 600,000 (around USD 739,500/EUR 676,400) in a share placing to speed up its growth plans, replenish working capital and fund a silicon/graphene solar project.

The company said it will use the raised funds to speed up its growth plans as it moves to commercialization, provide working capital for its Italian solar factory, which can currently produce 20 MW of modules per year, and cover its 50% share of the joint development programme with Paragraf, under which the two are working on a silicon/graphene integrated solar cell.

Verditek opened its Italian plant earlier this year. There it produces semi-flexible modules that weigh just around 2 kg per sq m. So far it has secured contracts with two distributors for 8 MW, while it estimates that its break-even sales target currently stands at 6 MW-7 MW per year.

Chief Executive Geoff Nesbitt said: "We have made the key transformation from proving and certifying our technology to selling it and while it is still early in this process, the commercial advantages of our lightweight solar panels are compelling as they are 90% lighter they generate the same amount of energy as conventional PV. We are looking forward to using these new funds to further grow our order book."

On the order front, Verditek has signed a "further material" order from a Nigerian distributor. This starts with a minimum of 1 megawatt bing delivered in the first year, and 3 megawatts in the second year. Further orders are also under negotiation, the company continued, and Verditek is confident on new firm orders in the near future.

"We are excited about the future of Verditek and believe the outlook remains very positive for both continued commercialisation of the lightweight solar modules and the graphene integrated PV cell technology," Nesbitt concluded.