The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded 3M $4.4 million as part of the DOE's SunShot Initiative, which aims to reduce the total costs of photovoltaic solar energy systems by about 75%, so that they are cost-competitive with other forms of energy without subsidies. SunShot calls for achieving this goal by the end of the decade.
The sum of the 3M award is estimated at $4.4 million over three years. The goal of 3M's project is to accelerate efforts toward further development and commercialization of the company's Ultra Barrier Solar Film. According to the company, the funding will support a reliability test program to validate the lifetime performance of 3M's film as well as development of second-generation 3M Ultra Barrier Solar Films with enhanced performance and reduced costs.
As part of the initiative, 3M will collaborate with the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to test the performance and durability of the films. ‘Technology for economical production of transparent barrier films has been a missing link in the flexible [copper indium gallium diselenide] photovoltaic supply chain for a long time, and we are looking forward to working with 3M in the development of this technology,’ says NREL Senior Scientist Mike Kempe.