SolFocus ups round

SolFocus has raised $66.7 million from venture capitalists in its Series C, according to a regulatory filing.

The solar energy company announced it had closed $47.5 million last month and anticipated it would raise between $60 million and $70 million by the end of the quarter. It seems to be running ahead of schedule.

Investors in the round include Apex Venture Partners, NGEN and New Enterprise Associates. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company reflects sun rays into a small, powerful solar energy cell, which can deliver the same amount of energy as a traditional solar cell using less silicon.

Solfocus will use the funding to expand its user base, aiming to install enough units to produce 100 megawatts by 2010, up from 0.5 megawatts last year.

Mark Crowley took the CEO spot at SolFocus last month. He worked at Lockheed Martin before joining SolFocus last year. Former company CEO Gary Conley retained the chairmanship.

SolFocus signed a $103 million agreement with EMPE Solar to install a 10 megawatt concentrated photovoltaic power system in November that will provide energy for 40,000 people. The installation, planed for southern Spain, will be the largest such energy project in the world, the company says.

Venture capitalists were bullish on solar in 2008, backing 69 companies with $2.35 billion, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of PE Week). A number of solar deals have already received financing this year despite the downturn in venture financing that has affected every other industry. —Alexander Haislip