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ClearVue Technologies locks in $30m funding for global expansion

ClearVue Technologies’ solar module in a window frame. Credit: File

ClearVue Technologies is poised to fast-track the global expansion of its innovative solar glass product after securing a $30 million funding facility with Sydney-based Alpha Investment Partners.

The Perth-based smart building materials company says having access to flexible capital is a vital growth step following the recent independent validation for the commercial potential of its technology. The funding arrangement will support the scaled development of its integrated glazing unit (IGU) products and integrated Solar Façade solutions.

Earlier this month, testing by the Singapore Building and Construction Authority found that ClearVue’s second-generation photovoltaic insulated glassing unit (Gen-2 PV IGU) reduces both energy use and costs, while enhancing thermal comforts for occupants.

As part of the deal with Alpha, ClearVue has agreed to place 10 million shares, which it may buy back at any time subject to shareholder approval, as collateral.

The company believes having access to the “at-the-market” (ATM) funding facility will allow it to respond quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively to emerging investor demand as it begins scaling up activities in multiple global markets. It enables management to engage with potential strategic or institutional investors on its own timeline, instead of conducting periodic short to medium-term capital raising under pressure at potentially disadvantageous pricings and in an increasingly tough market.

Over recent months, the commercial potential of our technology has been validated by independent, third-party verification demonstrating the real-world performance benefits of our unique products. Having access to flexible capital is critical to accelerate our growth plans and progress our pathway to commercialisation. Unlike traditional capital raises, an ATM empowers us to raise investment at prevailing market prices. ClearVue Technologies chief executive officer Martin Deil

Mr Deil added that while such funding facilities were a relatively new product in Australia, they had been used widely in the United States for many years.

ClearVue’s window designs employ special glass panel sandwiches with nano and micro particle technology to internally diffuse, redistribute and reflect elements of the incoming sunlight towards the edges of the glass panel. The light is then collected by monocrystalline silicon-based photovoltaic (PV) modules, enabling the window to act not just as an architectural window entity for purposes of through-view protection from the elements, but also to generate electricity.

The PV modules are placed into a circuit, which is optimised to harvest energy rays coming from multiple directions. It means buildings can then produce enough power to recoup, wholly or partly, their own power use and may even produce excess power that can be sent to a national grid system.

The combined solution prevents excess heat and unwanted solar radiation (UV and infrared) from entering building spaces. The colour rendering index (CRI) of the window glass is as high as 99 per cent, leading to an unaltered appearance of all objects behind the ClearVue glass – unless, of course, if it is tinted.

The company is working on several architectural products including windows, attractive building facias and load-carrying structural elements called spandrels, all of which have the capacity to generate electricity while serving their prime architectural function.

ClearVue says it reviewed several fundraising options prior to selecting the ATM to provide it with standby equity capital in the next five years. It outlined key advantages including the fact that it offers flexible capital, provides control over the timing of capital issues with minimal dilution to the proceeds raised due to its simplicity and allows capital raising activities at a time of a company’s choosing.

The arrangement does not place any restrictions on ClearVue raising capital through other methods or avenues. The company also retains full control over all major aspects of the placement process, has sole discretion on the use of the ATM, the number of issued shares, and the minimum issue price of shares for any placement.

In May, ClearVue won a $2 million grant through the State Government’s Investment Attraction Fund to advance its manufacturing operations, which the company is expected to use to manufacture key components for its patented solar-integrated glazing units and windows at its new plant in Perth.

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