U.S. Energy Dept. doles out $17.6 million to six companies for advanced solar PV development

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

Six early-stage and established photovoltaic companies based in California and New England have been awarded up to $17.6 million to develop advanced solar PV manufacturing technologies as part of the Solar America Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy announced. DOE says that, including the cost
share from industry–which will be at least 20%– the total
research investment is expected to reach up to $35.4 million. The projects are part of the initiative’s goal of making solar energy cost-competitive with conventional electricity sources by 2015.

After their subcontracts are negotiated through DOE’s National
Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), six companies will
begin 18-month projects: 

  • 1366 Technologies (Lexington, MA) will receive up to $3 million to help in its development of a new cell architecture and related processes for low-cost
    multicrystalline silicon cells. This project is expected to enhance
    cell performance by light-trapping texturing and grooves for
    self-aligned metallization fingers. By improving the light trapping and
    charge carrier movement within the cell, this project will
    significantly increase the efficiency of multicrystalline cells. By
    the end of the project, 1366 Technologies plans to deliver a 19%
    efficient, 15.6 x 15.6 cm2, multicrystalline silicon cell with a
    technology that is applicable across the crystalline silicon cell
    industry.
  • Innovalight (Sunnyvale, CA) will receive up to $3 million to develop very
    high-efficiency, low-cost solar cells and modules, which use ink-jet printing of
    the company’s proprietary “silicon ink” onto thin-crystalline silicon wafers. The company’s contactless printing process has been shown to
    significantly reduce both the manufacturing costs and the complexity
    required to make today’s highly efficient cells and modules.
  • Skyline Solar (Mountain View, CA) will receive up to $3 million for its efforts to further develop
    an integrated lightweight, single-axis tracked system that has been
    demonstrated to reflect and concentrate sunlight more than 10X onto silicon
    cells. The use of mirrors to concentrate light will reduce the use of
    the greatest cost driver for traditional silicon modules, the solar
    cells, by over 90%. Additionally, the design leverages the mainstream
    PV industrial base and amplifies its capacity through significant
    concentration to enable rapid scaling. It seeks to dramatically lower
    the cost to manufacture modules and install complete systems to achieve
    a levelized cost of energy below grid parity. By the end of this
    project, Skyline plans to deliver modules that exceed 12 m2 area and 15% aperture-area efficiency.
  • Solasta (Newton, MA) will receive up to $2.6 million for development of a novel cell
    design based on an amorphous-silicon “nanocoax” structure, which
    increases current and lowers materials cost by shortening the path
    charge carriers must travel to the cell’s conducting wires. This
    approach effectively decouples the optical and electronic pathways.  If
    successful, the company will deliver 15% efficient, 100 cm2 preproduction cells at the end of the project.
  • Solexel (Milpitas, CA) will receive up to $3 million to move forward on its plans to commercialize a
    disruptive, 3-D, high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon cell
    technology, while dramatically reducing manufacturing cost per watt.
    Through a series of novel yet low-cost processing steps, this project
    will manufacture a solar-cell architecture which efficiently traps
    light using minimal material. At the end of this project, Solexel plans
    to deliver a 17-19% efficient, 156 x 156 mm2, single-crystal cell
    that consumes substantially lower silicon per watt than conventionally
    sliced wafers. Solexel aspires to be a gigawatt-scale PV producer
    within five years.
  • Spire Semiconductor (Hudson, NH) will receive up to $2.97 million to work on its plans to open
    up the design space for three-junction tandem solar cells by growing
    differentiated bifacial cells on a gallium arsenide substrate. This
    approach will allow the company to better optimize the optical properties of
    their device layers to better match the solar spectrum.  Spire
    Semiconductor is targeting cell efficiencies >42% using a
    low-cost manufacturing method.

“These projects will help promote the development of a diverse
set of photovoltaic technologies and ensure that the U.S. is a world
leader in next-generation, cost-effective solar technologies,” said John Mizroch, DOE’s acting
assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. “These solar photovoltaic incubator awards will help
accelerate the time it takes for innovative start-up companies to get
their technologies to market.”

— Tom Cheyney

26 January 2022
Join this free webinar for our analysis of the growth of N-Type technology including; new capacity expansions and production output. We'll also be looking at the global manufacturing footprint with forecasts on how much product will be made outside of China this year and which companies are driving technology change across the crystalline silicon value chain.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.
8 March 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 March 2022
When it comes to storage, the US market exceeded a gigawatt of advanced energy storage installations (weighted towards lithium ion) at 1.46 GW, more than the previous six years in total! An exponential growth rate could see the market hit 7.5 GW p.a. by 2025. The summit will provide a wealth of content around this vital piece in the US power puzzle, with sessions dedicated to explore how companies are making money from batteries, the latest chemistries and their applications as they apply to different use-cases. We ask how investors can match ESG criteria to batteries and we will bring case studies of successful deployment and project execution onto the stage to examine how you can ensure your own projects are successful.
29 March 2022
Now in its 10th sell-out year, Large Scale Solar returns to Lisbon in 2022. We are excited to gather together face-to-face with the European solar industry as we provide unique and exclusive access to a powerful selection of the market's key stakeholders. Join this elite summit to find out how the market is maturing, which new markets are becoming more exciting, how technology is evolving and who's driving the market forward into the 2020s. Always senior, packed with developers, EPCs, utilities and investors this is the event for companies serious about European solar PV.

Read Next

January 21, 2022
Toronto-based renewables developer Amp Energy has closed on a US$350 million credit facility to advance on a global portfolio of renewables and battery energy storage assets.
January 21, 2022
India is at risk of a supply and demand mismatch for solar equipment if domestic PV manufacturers are unable to meet the quantity and quality required by project developers, Fitch Solutions has warned.
January 21, 2022
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on solar energy on the continent as it continues preparations to publish its solar strategy later this year.
January 21, 2022
US solar installer SunPower is to be hit by a cracking issue discovered in connectors associated with equipment installed in some commercial and industrial (C&I) projects, resulting in charges of around US$31 million.
PV Tech Premium
January 21, 2022
Greece is on track to accelerate solar deployment in the coming years, with the sector boosted by rising demand for renewable offtake agreements from corporations and clean energy policies from the EU, according to the general manager of Greek industrial group Mytilineos’s renewables business.
January 20, 2022
Mississippi authorities have expanded the state’s net metering programme to improve total compensation rates for solar customers and prioritise the adoption of distributed PV for low- to moderate-income (LMI) households.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
January 26, 2022
Free Webinar
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal