The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says it will invest up to $13.7 million over three years for 11 university-led projects that will focus on developing advanced solar photovoltaic technology manufacturing processes and products. Negotiations between selected applicants and the DOE will begin immediately to determine final project plans and funding levels.
The projects – comprising an integral part of President Bush's Solar America Initiative – will help industry partners advance manufacturing processes and products to significantly reduce the cost of electricity produced by PV. Current price levels are between $0.18 to $0.23 per kWh, and the goal is to reach $0.05 to $0.10 per kWh by 2015.
The DOE says each university will work closely with an industry partner to ensure that the projects retain a commercialization focus and that results are quickly transitioned into market-ready products and manufacturing processes.