Nanosolar, a solar energy firm, promises cheaper-than-coal electricity with its first commercial-grade solar electric panels.

An excerpt from New York Times:

“Nanosolar’s founder and chief executive, Martin Roscheisen, claims to be the first solar panel manufacturer to be able to profitably sell solar panels for less than $1 a watt. That is the price at which solar energy becomes less expensive than coal.

“‘With a $1-per-watt panel,’ he said, ‘it is possible to build $2-per-watt systems.’

“According to the Energy Department, building a new coal plant costs about $2.1 a watt, plus the cost of fuel and emissions, he said.”

Funding for the company also comes from Google’s founders, which is a good bet since Google itself is backing several renewable energy schemes. The manufacturing technique for the solar panels is akin to a printing process. Scalability to utility-level implementations has been demonstrated with the deal to install a 1 mega watt solar plant in Germany. One of the first three Photovoltaic modules has even been put up for sale on eBay.

More information:

Nanosolar’s growing aims (MercuryNews)

Solar company Nanosolar ships first panels (BizJournal)

Nanosolar and Beck energy win solar project in Germany (Energy Busniess Review)