The recent announcement by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to invest US$457 million in solar technology development under the moniker of the SunShot Advanced PV Manufacturing Partnerships Program has given the industry a welcome boost. With the recent payout to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), news has emerged that Veeco has partnered with the CNSE for technology development and reduction of costs associated with CIGS technologies.
The SunShot Initiative aims to reduce the total costs of photovoltaic solar energy systems by about 75% with the ultimate goal of rendering CIGS thin film cost-competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade. CNSE is partnering with the US Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) which, along with California-based Bay Area PV Consortium (BAPVC) and SVTC Technologies, recently received a DOE grant of US$112.5 million for development of the technology.
Veeco’s role in this effort will involve the company’s contribution to the establishment of a full-scale CIGS centre enabling collaboration along the whole PV supply chain. In February, the company received a US$4.8 million DOE R&D grant to help speed its CIGS equipment development. Veeco has a small-scale pilot production line for CIGS development in Greater Albany.
Veeco’s CEO John Peeler is happy to be part of the effort: “We are excited to be a key partner for the CNSE project. Driven by the world-class innovation at CNSE, the PVMI CIGS consortium will provide a full-scale CIGS center enabling the whole PV supply chain to work together to deploy new technologies, and enable the transition to commercial production… This center has all the elements to speed the progress of CIGS commercialization.”