Andy Karsner, U.S. assistant secretary of energy efficiency and renewable energy, and other representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently visited GE Energy's Newark, Del., solar manufacturing facility to highlight the company's selection for an $8.1 million grant.
The DOE has selected 13 solar technology development projects, including one to be led by GE Energy, as part of President Bush's Solar America Initiative. The funding for the first year of GE Energy's project is expected to be roughly $8.1 million, with approximately $18.6 million available over three years if the GE Energy team meets its goals, the company says. However, the funding is subject to award negotiation and appropriation from Congress.
‘We believe that GE's participation in the Solar America Initiative will play a significant role in helping the U.S. solar industry grow rapidly,’ says Victor Abate, GE Energy's vice president of renewables. ‘We are honored that the DOE chose GE Energy to be a part of this innovative program.’
The company plans to accelerate the large-scale commercialization of solar technology into products that are cost-competitive with retail electricity rates without the need for government assistance. Research will take place at both GE Energy's facility in Newark and the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y.