Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman
today 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," Secretary
Bodman said. "Our goal is to make solar power
become a more mainstream source of energy - to increase energy security
and so America maintains its 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
Projects selected represent an important early-stage
investment from DOE in advanced PV (solar electricity) 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 selected competitively from a large and
diverse pool of applicants, demonstrating the growing enthusiasm for PV
technology. The projects will be implemented at 15
universities and 6 companies; each award averages $900,000 from DOE
over three years (Fiscal Years 2008 - 2010). 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.
As part of President Bush's Advanced Energy
Initiative, the Solar America Initiative aims to diversify our
Nation's energy resources by spurring widespread
commercialization and deployment of clean solar energy technologies,
which will help to provide long-term economic, environmental, and
security benefits to our nation.
The following projects were selected for negotiation of
three-year project awards:
Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)
This project will seek to increase efficiency levels to 20% by
developing new materials to improve tandem thin film solar
cells. DOE will provide up to $895,511 for the $1.1 million
project. Arizona State University was selected for another project, in
which researchers will demonstrate the fundamental viability of
replacing expensive materials used in today's solar cells
with less costly alternatives. DOE will provide up to
$881,152 for the $1.2 million project.
California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)
This project will seek to enhance solar absorption using plasmons to
improve the performance of PV cells. DOE will provide up to $900,000
for the $1.1 million project.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
This project will seek to boost the performance of conventional solar
cells through the addition of a new layer tuned to use a previously
wasted portion of the sun's energy. DOE will
provide up to $900,000 for the $1.1 million project. MIT was selected
for another project, in which researchers will explore a silicon
wafer-making technology that will set new standards of electronic
quality and low cost. DOE will provide up to $899,998 for the
$1.1 million project.
Mayaterials, Inc. (Ann Arbor, MI)
This project will seek to derive solar grade silicon from agricultural
by-products. DOE will provide up to $837,000 for the $1
Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)
Penn State will seek to apply lessons learned from success with lithium
ion batteries to develop dye-based sensitized solar cells with improved
electrodes and electrolytes. DOE will provide up to $882,103
for the $1.1 million project. Penn State was selected for a second
project, in which researchers will create PV devices from nanowires
grown on inexpensive substrates like glass. DOE will provide up to
$900,000 for the $1.1 million project.
Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)
This project will develop PV cells for solar concentrator applications
using high efficiency nanostructures. DOE will provide up to $843,695
for the $1.1 million project.
Solasta, Inc. (Newton, MA)
Solasta will seek to develop high efficiency solar power by separating
the path traveled by light from the path traveled by electrons using
nanostructures. DOE will provide up to $900,000 for this $1.8
Solexant, Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA)
Solexant will seek to dramatically improve photovoltaics through
inexpensive inorganic PV cell that harvest more than the conventional
limit of maximum power efficiency. DOE will provide up to
$869,435 of the $1.1 million project.
Soltaix, Inc. (Los Altos, CA)
Soltaix will seek to demonstrate and optimize an ultra-high-efficiency,
thin-film, crystalline solar cell for cost-effective, grid-connected
electricity. DOE will provide up to $900,000 for this $1.8
Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
Stanford will use nanowire networks or meshes to create electrodes for
high efficiency, low cost solution-processed photovoltaics.
DOE will provide up to $900,000 for this $1.1 million project. Stanford
was also selected for a second project, in which researchers will
produce advanced, higher efficiency thin-film solar cells from
nanowires made of CIGS. DOE will provide up to $900,000 for
this $1.1 million project.
University of California, Davis (Davis, CA)
UC Davis will develop organic photovoltaics, prepared with sequential
solution processing, to produce multiple-layer polymer films.
DOE will provide up to $610,916 for this $0.8 million project.
University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, CA)
This project will seek to produce high-efficiency photovoltaics that
combine plasmonics and semiconductor nanostructures. DOE will
provide up to $900,000 for this $1.1 million project.
University of Colorado (Boulder, CO)
Using dye molecules to produce multiple electrons from one photon of
light, researchers for this project will demonstrate an ultra-high
efficiency, low cost solar cell. DOE will provide up to
$895,772 for this $1.1 million project.
University of Delaware (Newark, DE)
The project will use laser processing to control defects and improve PV
cell performance to develop a highly efficient wide bandgap in thin
films, which is necessary for low cost polycrystalline tandem
devices. DOE will provide up to $900,000 for this $1.1
University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)
This project will seek to create solution processible, low cost tandem
photovoltaics from inorganic nanorods (aligned for efficient energy
collection) surrounded by organic polymers. DOE will provide
up to $900,000 for his $1.1 million project.
University of Illinois (Urbana, IL)
This project will seek a low cost concentrator PV from automated
printing and the interconnection of a large number of microcells with