DOE invests in the future of solar technology

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) invested $21.7 million into 25 projects designed to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional electricity by 2015.


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) invested $21.7 million into 25 projects designed to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional electricity by 2015. Nineteen of the projects involve universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University; the other six projects include companies such as Wakonda Technologies, Fairport, N.Y.; Solexant, Sunnyvale, Calif.; and Mayaterials Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich.

The DOE is investing $800,000 each in Solexant and Mayaterials for continued research into next-generation photovoltaic projects. Solexant will develop inexpensive and inorganic photovoltaic cells, which will harvest more energy than conventional methods, and Mayaterials will obtain solar-grade silicon from agricultural byproducts. Wakonda Technologies will receive $900,000 for the application of low-cost conventional thin-film manufacturing techniques to the production of large area, high-efficiency multi-junction photovoltaics.

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