NextGen Solar has announced that their new breed of cheap solar paint is closer than ever now that the company has raised half of the $1 million it needs to move out of the lab and into the real world. The company’s solar paint is expected to provide up to 40% efficiency at a third of the cost of traditional photovoltaic panels. That’s partially because the paint captures more wavelengths of light than traditional cells. The material, which forms small connected solar cells as it dries, can be applied to nearly any surface–windows, walls, roofs, and more.
Plenty of organizations are working on solar paint and spray-on solar cells — the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the University of Texas, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, to name a few. However NextGen‘s secret weapon is Len Batterson, a tech investor who has backed successful startups for 27 years. Batterson claims that NextGen’s revolutionary technology could lead to the biggest venture capital deal ever if it works.
That’s a big “if”, of course — the solar paint has yet to prove itself in a commercial setting. But if it is successful, NextGen’s paint could help reach the elusive goal of bringing solar power down to price parity with coal power.