DOE Invests $21.7M in Solar Energy Efficiency Research
Mayaterials Inc. of Ann Arbor, Mich., is trying to obtain solar grade silicon from agricultural by-products.
Sound crazy? The U.S. Department of Energy doesn't think so. The agency is investing more than $800,000 each into the two companies, well as millions more for 23 other groups. The funding opportunity is worth $21.7 million.
The DOE selected the 25 next generation photovoltaic projects in its bid to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional electricity by 2015. Although nineteen of the projects originate at universities that include top-tier institutions such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University, companies such as Wakonda Technologies of Fairport, N.Y., scored a slice, too.
DOE will give Wakonda nearly $900,000 for apply low-cost conventional thin-film manufacturing techniques to the production of large area, high-efficiency multi-junction photovoltaics. The project's total price tage is $2.1 million.
"These projects help create a pipeline for the development of next generation solar technology," DOE Secretary Samuel Bodman said last week. "Our goal is to make solar power a more mainstream source of energy -- to increase energy security and maintain America's competitive edge.
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