Science Foundation Arizona To Launch Solar Tech Institute

Science Foundation Arizona has made five new solar investments totaling $4 million and plans to open the Solar Technology Institute (STI) to advance Arizona's renewable energy leadership.

STI will combine Arizona's significant solar resources with the research strengths of the University of Arizona (UA) and Arizona State University (ASU) to grow the state's global leadership in renewable energy, Science Foundation Arizona says.

The Solar Technology Institute will catalyze solar technology advances and the commercialization of products and services that foster new industry growth through five solar investments.

Science Foundation Arizona's five solar investments include the following:

  • Concentrator photovoltaics – researchers at UA and ASU are collaborating on next-generation low-cost solar reflectors that can be used in solar energy generating systems.

  • Nanostructured films for photovoltaics – Global Solar, General Plasma, Prism Solar, ASU and UA are teaming up to enhance the capabilities of thin-film solar panels through innovative technology.

  • Photovoltaic environmental performance and reliability – ASU and UA are working with Tucson Electric Power and TUV-Rheinland to expand the ASU Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory so that it can conduct more rapid product certification and testing of solar products, and help identify and create better performing solar products.

  • Compressed air energy storage – Southwest Solar Technologies, the U.S. Geological Survey, UA and ASU are developing compressed-air solar-storage technology for use when the sun is not shining.

  • AZ Smart – Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project, ASU and UA are partnering to create a system of smart-grid management and to develop decision-making software to help select future power generation station locations, storage sites and power lines throughout Arizona.

SOURCE: Science Foundation Arizona

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