Why Intel’s First Venture Into Consulting Is With A Silicon Valley Solar Startup

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Solar startups often have impressively big ideas about how they’re going to scale up the next revolutionary technology, but few get the job done. Hence, our lack of solar power. Intel thinks it can help.

Intel just took on its first consulting job with MiaSole, a Silicon Valley solar startup that manufactures copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin film solar modules, which are less efficient than silicon but also cheaper to produce–meaning they could potentially have widespread appeal to people who worry about the cost of installing solar. Up until now, companies like MiaSole have found it difficult to scale up because the CIGS manufacturing process is much more complicated than the silicon-module manufacturing process. But Intel, which knows how to manufacture a lot of complicated computer chips quickly and error-free, might make all the difference for MiaSole. The startup will have 12 Intel employees looking for improvements at its manufacturing sites full-time for at least the next year. So how did a once-faltering solar startup get involved with a world-class manufacturing company?

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