SunShot Initiative receives $112.5 million boost

Having been awarded over half of the funding – $62.5 million – the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) will work towards developing next?generation copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin film manufacturing technologies.

The consortium will also partner with The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the State University of New York at Albany, to establish manufacturing development facilities that can be used for product prototyping, demonstration and pilot?scale manufacturing.

Furthermore, it will work with The University of Central Florida to develop in-line measurement and inspection tools.

Meanwhile, the Bay Area PV Consortium (BAPVC ) and SVTC Technologies, both located in California, will receive $25 million each.

The BAPVC will reportedly fund industry-relevant research and development to impact high volume PV manufacturing. The project, which will be managed by Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, will develop and test new materials, device structures and fabrication processes necessary to achieve cost-effective photovoltaic modules in high volume production.

Finally, SVTC Technologies will create a fee-for-service photovoltaic Manufacturing Development Facility (MDF) that will enable start-ups, materials suppliers, and other relevant photovoltaic parties to eliminate a major portion of their up-front capital and operating costs during product development and pilot production.

DOE Secretary Steven Chu made the announcement yesterday. Commenting, he said: "Expanding the U.S. solar energy industry is an important part of the Administration’s goals to diversify our electricity supply and rebuild America¬ís manufacturing base to create jobs now and in the future."

The SunShot Initiative was unveiled in February with Chu announcing the availability of $27.3 million in funding to kick start the drive. The aim is to fund research and development efforts that will make solar electricity cost competitive as wholesale electricity rates of conventional sources of power by 2020, without needing government subsidies.