1366 Technologies will be receiving four million dollars in federal funding from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). This being the first time that ARPA-E has taken applications for funding, over 3600 companies applied from across the US. The final recipients were narrowed down to 37 and were chosen through a demanding review process with input from several review panels composed from leading US energy science and technology experts and ARPA-E’s program managers. 1366 was the only PV company chosen to receive funding.
“For over 35 years, silicon PV has been hobbled by high costs and difficulties in scaling due to expensive wafering. Our Direct Wafer technology solves the wafering problem with a breakthrough manufacturing solution that is compatible with today’s supply chain,” said Frank van Mierlo, co-founder and president of 1366 Technologies. “This funding will allow us to accelerate the development and scaling of Direct Wafer, which will have strong implications for the competitiveness of the U.S. PV industry and provide a basis for future economic growth and jobs”.
The evaluations were centered around the potential for high impact on ARPA-E’s goals and scientific and technical merit. 1366 was chosen because of their direct wafer technology, which forms high-efficiency monocrystalline-equivalent silicon wafers directly from molten silicon leading to the potential to diminish the cost of pv installations by half.