Konarka Technologies, an American company involved in developing polymer-based, organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology, has inked bilateral R&D and cooperation agreements with Total, one of the largest publicly-traded integrated international oil and gas companies in the world. Konarka has secured US$45 mln in funding and Total will become the leading shareholder with its stake being slightly less than 20%. Konarka will work on developing new components for their products with Total's chemical subsidiaries - Atotech, Bostik, Hutchinson, Sartomer and Total Petrochemicals USA. Total has a presence in solar energy through its interest in Photovoltech and Tenesol and this collaboration will ramp up its crystalline silicon-based cell production while expecting to grow in the thin film segment. Konarka developed and commercialized Power Plastic®, a material that converts light to energy.
Following the transaction, Philippe Boisseau, president, Total Gas & Power, stated: "This investment positions Total strategically to secure the future of solar energy while expanding its technological portfolio." Howard Berke, executive chairman and co-founder of Konarka commented: "Through the agreements, Konarka will be very instrumental in helping Total to secure its future in solar energy by facilitating the growth of its solar thin film segment of the company's renewable energy business."