Three SunShot Projects Funded to Advance Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing
WASHINGTON, DC, April 7, 2011 (ENS) - As part of the SunShot Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the selection of three organizations that will receive up to $112.5 million over five years to support the development of advanced solar photovoltaic manufacturing processes.

The Energy Department's SunShot Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships is aimed at helping the solar power industry overcome technical barriers and reduce costs for PV installations.

A lab at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the State University of New York at Albany, a SunShot grant recipient. (Photo courtesy CNSE)

The program aims to drive innovations in the ways that solar systems are conceived, designed, manufactured and installed.

"Expanding the U.S. solar energy industry is an important part of the administration's goals to diversify our electricity supply and rebuild America's manufacturing base to create jobs now and in the future," said Secretary Chu.

"The SunShot Initiative will not only keep the United States at the forefront in solar energy research and development, but will help us win the worldwide race to build a solar manufacturing industry that produces solar systems that are cost competitive with fossil fuels," said Chu.

The SunShot Initiative aims to reduce the total costs of photovoltaic solar energy systems by about 75 percent so that they are cost competitive at large scale with other forms of energy without subsidies by the end of the decade.

Achieving this goal - equivalent to approximately $1 a watt or roughly six cents per kilowatt-hour for utility systems - would allow solar energy systems to be broadly deployed across the country, said Chu.

The selected projects are:

Chu explains that the SunShot program builds on the legacy of President Kennedy's 1960s "moon shot" goal, which laid out a plan to regain the country's lead in the space race and land a man on the moon.

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