image SolarCity is becoming a solar manufacturer, plans to acquire solar maker Silevo

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Gigaom

Solar installer and financier SolarCity (s SCTY) is getting into the solar manufacturing market for the first time with the announcement that it plans to acquire a solar cell maker startup called Silevo. According to a filing SolarCity will pay $200 million worth of SolarCity common stock at the close of the transaction, and an option for another $150 million in shares upon achievement of certain milestones.

Founded in 2007 and based in Fremont, California, Silevo developed a new type of solar cell design using silicon (the main material in traditional solar panels) but also combining different materials for other cell components to squeeze more energy out of the system and to improve the cell’s efficiency. The company uses more efficient single-crystal silicon as the base layer, and then it adds on a “tunneling oxide layer” and a layer of amorphous silicon to alter the voltage and…

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