Startup Looks to Add Solar Panels to Skyscrapers

An aerial photograph of solar panels on city building rooftops.

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A startup is making headlines for the amount of money it’s quickly raising as it sets out to turn the windows on skyscrapers into solar energy. Ubiquitous Energy has reportedly raised tens of millions of dollars, including recent backing from the window and door manufacturing giant Andersen Corp.

Ubiquitous has designed a see-through, unobtrusive coating for windows that can convert sunlight into electricity. The coating contains microwires that connect the solar window to electrical systems where the energy is used, CNBC reports. The company plans to produce at scale by early 2024. The solar window panels will be about 30% more expensive than regular window glass, the company says.

“We’ll be able to make floor to ceiling glass,” Susan Stone, CEO of Ubiquitous, told CNBC. “We can turn skyscrapers into vertical solar farms.”

Ubiquitous also believes its product can be used in the residential housing market.

The transparency is key behind taking such solar windows mainstream, Stone says. The windows “have to look indistinguishable from traditional windows or we won’t see mass deployment,” she says. “Aesthetics is our guiding light.”