Ceramic Industry

DOE to Invest Over $21 Million in Solar Energy Projects (posted 11/28/07)

November 28, 2007

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman recently announced that the department will invest $21.7 million in next generation photovoltaic (PV) technology to help accelerate the widespread use of advanced solar power. The 25 projects that DOE selected as part of this Funding Opportunity Announcement, Next Generation Photovoltaic Devices & Processes, are an integral part of the President’s Solar America Initiative, which aims to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional sources of electricity by 2015.

“These projects help create a pipeline for the development of next generation solar technology,” Bodman said. “Our goal is to make solar power a more mainstream source of energy, to increase energy security and maintain America’s competitive edge. With a continued commitment from this administration to develop and deploy clean, cutting-edge technologies, the department is helping change the landscape for how this nation utilizes its resources and produces energy.”

The projects selected represent an important early-stage investment from the DOE in advanced PV technologies, which will help drive U.S. industry competitiveness. These new solar technologies have the potential to produce electricity at costs well below the current costs of grid-supplied electricity. The device and manufacturing process research, which will be used by the selected projects, is expected to produce prototype cells and/or processes by 2015, with the potential for full commercialization shortly thereafter.

The 25 projects were competitively selected from a large and diverse pool of applicants, demonstrating the growing enthusiasm for PV technology. The projects will be implemented at 15 universities and six companies; each award averages $900,000 from the DOE over three years. The DOE will provide up to $21.7 million in funding, subject to final project negotiations and Congressional appropriations. With cost-sharing, the total investment in research will be up to $30.3 million.

The following organizations were selected for negotiation of three-year project awards: Arizona State University (two projects); California Institute of Technology; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (two projects); Mayaterials, Inc.; Pennsylvania State University (two projects); Rochester Institute of Technology; Solasta, Inc.; Solexant, Inc.; Soltaix, Inc.; Stanford University (two projects); University of California, Davis; University of California, San Diego; University of Colorado; University of Delaware; University of Florida; University of Illinois; University of Michigan; University of South Florida; University of Washington; Voxtel, Inc.; and Wakonda Technologies.

Visit www.energy.gov for more information.