Steven Chu, US Energy Secretary, advised that the Department of Energy (DOE) would be providing funding to 104 small businesses across the nation in grants that total more than US$102 million. The companies were chosen since they proved to have promising technologies with a strong potential for commercialization and job creation.
The 104 businesses have been selected for Phase II work, whereby the companies will build on the conceptual work undertaken in Phase I and take the next steps necessary to bring their technologies to market. One such small solar business that received a grant was Xunlight 26 Solar based in Toledo, Ohio.
Xunlight 26 Solar proposes to make a '1×4’ prototype flexible solar module using carbon nanotubes and ultrathin semiconductor layers. The project aims to deliver flexible see-through solar modules that will help lower the cost of renewable energy and maintain the US’ leadership role in the industry.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, employing half of all workers in America and creating two out of every three new jobs in the US,” said Secretary Chu. “Bringing these innovative technologies to market is just the latest step in the Energy Department's efforts to support the critical role that small businesses are playing in creating jobs for American workers and expanding our country's clean energy economy. These businesses are helping to reduce our dependence on imported oil and protect our air and water, while ensuring that the United States leads in the global clean energy race.”