SunPower Corp., a San Jose, Calif.-based manufacturer of solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, announced it has been awarded a cost-shared, three-year cooperative agreement by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the ‘Grid-Competitive Residential and Commercial Fully Automated PV Systems Technology’ Project.
Under the cooperative agreement, SunPower is expected to receive $8,469,998 in federal funding through the completion of its first project budget period, which will be implemented through Aug. 31, 2008. Upon successful completion of key project milestones and sustained execution of a viable business strategy, as much as $16,230,002 in additional funding will be made available for continued project implementation through June 30, 2010. The total potential funding from the DOE under the Solar American Initiative (SAI) is up to $24.7 million for this three-year project, subject to availability of funds appropriated by the U.S. Congress.
SunPower was selected to receive this award in March and will use the funds to implement cost improvements across the value chain, including innovations in producing ingots, wafers, high-efficiency solar cells and panels, system design, and improved delivery and installation productivity. The company will work to reduce solar system costs through improvements in the design and manufacture of integrated solar-electric systems. This work will be conducted with a team of technology and institutional partners.
‘The Solar America Initiative provides support for SunPower's stated objective to reduce installed system cost 50 percent by the year 2012,’ says Terry Jester, SunPower's SAI principal investigator. ‘Our research under this program will address interrelated product and service improvements across the entire photovoltaic value chain. We believe that this type of fully integrated approach to product development is a key to making solar power a truly mainstream energy option.’