Over the last three years, a long list of solar-power manufacturers have gone out of business, including BP Solar and startups Abound Solar and Solyndra.

Last year the company opened a demonstration-scale factory to produce silicon wafers, a critical component in the most common type of solar cells.

CEO Frank van Mierlo is confident that the failures of solar manufacturing are yesterday’s story.

The final wafers are identical to those made in today’s conventional solar factories, where they are cut from ingots.

That’s important, since silicon wafers account for about 40 percent of the cost of today’s solar panels, and manufacturers are hungry for even tiny cost reductions.

Sachs also invented the technology behind Evergreen Solar, which went bankrupt in August 2011.

Unlike Evergreen 1366 chose to supply components for solar panels to other manufacturers, rather than trying to sell completed panels itself.