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Qbotix Supplying Robots for 45 Megawatts of Solar Projects

Qbotix Inc., a closely held supplier of robotic systems for solar farms, agreed to supply equipment for 45 megawatts of U.K. power plants under development by Castillium Ltd.

The first Castillium projects using Qbotix systems will begin construction in mid-2014, according to a statement today from the Menlo Park, California-based robotics company. Terms weren’t disclosed.

Qbotix’s battery-powered robots ride a rail around solar arrays and tilt the panels toward the sun as it moves across the sky. They increase panel output by as much as 45 percent and may lower the cost of building power plants by as much as 20 percent, Chief Executive Officer Wasiq Bokhari said.

“Our approach adds value, including in conditions where sunlight is poor,” Bokhari said in a telephone interview. “We are a global company, and solar is a global market.” The company is deploying its technology in Japan and may expand into Chile, he said.

Qbotix is seeking to raise $12.5 million in equity financing, including contributions from existing investors, by the end of the first quarter, Bokhari said. It has raised about $12 million to date.

Castillium, based in Edinburgh, has a U.K. project pipeline of more than 200 megawatts of ground-mounted photovoltaic projects.

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