$20 million CIGS partnership established in US

31. August 2012 | Industry & Suppliers, Research & Development | By:  Becky Beetz

Under a new US$20 million partnership, Ceres Technologies will supply CIGS manufacturing equipment to the U.S. Photovoltaic Consortium (PVMC), which is headquartered at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s (CNSE) Albany NanoTech Complex.

New York state Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo

New York state Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo announced the partnership on August 29.

Specifically, the company will help to establish an advanced manufacturing development facility at CNSE and provide 2 vacuum thin-film deposition tools to manufacture CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide) thin film solar cells. The partnership is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) goal to reduce the cost of installed solar energy systems from $5 to under $1/W over the next decade.

"These CIGS-based solar cells represent the next generation of solar photovoltaics, offering improved performance at a reduced cost to manufacture and install," read a statement released by New York state Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo on August 29 announcing the partnership.

In support of the partnership, $764,000 worth of Excelsior Tax Credits have been awarded to Ceres by Empire State Development through the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council.

Over the next 5 years, Ceres estimates that over 250 research and development, and manufacturing jobs will be created at its facility and through its supply chain in Saugerties and Kingston, as well as at CNSE in Albany.

"These advanced manufacturing tools will enable PVMC to lead the US CIGS module and supply chain community in making critical improvements in the efficiency and cost of next-generation solar technology. These advances driven by PVMC will play an important role in ensuring national competitiveness amid the fast-growing worldwide solar industry," commented Doug Hall, PV Manufacturing Initiative Portfolio Manager for DOE’s SunShot Initiative.

CNSE’s Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon is already said to provide a prototyping and demonstration line for next-generation CIGS thin-film solar cells. Meanwhile, the PVMC is a $400 million consortium comprised of industry, university, and government partners, which aims to accelerate the development, commercialization, and manufacturing of next-generation photovoltaic systems.

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