Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown, along with Representatives Edward Markey, John Tierney, and Niki Tsongas, today announced that Massachusetts will receive $12,600,000 to develop advanced solar energy technologies.
The funding, part of the U.S. Department of Energy's "SunShot Initiative," will go towards Massachusetts projects designed to reduce costs and improve efficiency of solar panels. The projects are part of $20 million in awards to strengthen U.S. production of solar technology.
"The United States invented solar technology, but China has raced ahead of us in manufacturing it. That's unacceptable," said Sen. Kerry. "With investments in these companies, we can get back in the game and create tons of steady jobs in Massachusetts."
"We need to tackle our energy crisis with an all-of-the above approach, and these resources will help our state remain a leader in the development of solar technology," said Sen. Brown. "Massachusetts has always been at the forefront of innovation and competitiveness, and these funds will play an important role in the development of future projects."
"The work of companies like 1366 ensures that the solar shot heard round the world is fired off in Lexington. If Paul Revere were alive today I think he'd be riding out to Lexington shouting "Solar is Coming.' Clean energy companies in Massachusetts and around the country are driving the innovation and technologies that will create the jobs and businesses of the 21st century right here at home," said Rep. Markey
"Earlier this year I had the opportunity to visit Varian Semiconductor in Gloucester and see first-hand the steps the company is taking to increase their exports and sell more American-made products overseas. I am pleased that this funding will help Varian work to reduce the manufacturing costs of what are already the most efficient silicon solar cells on the market and I hope that their experience may be seen as encouragement to other innovators looking to invest in our energy future. As we work to strengthen our economy and create new jobs, investment in manufacturing and innovation is critical to ensuring that companies in Massachusetts and around the nation succeed," said Rep. Tierney
"I strongly supported Veeco's grant application because this major investment in Lowell will help create jobs in our community by developing the clean energy technology that can reduce household energy bills while promoting reliable domestic sources of power," said Rep. Tsongas. "Vecco is a demonstrated solar technology leader and this well deserved award will help accelerate the R&D, integration and commercialization of their products."
The U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative builds on the research and development efforts in solar energy over the past decade, conducted in partnership with American universities, national laboratories and the private sector. This includes support for companies across the solar energy supply chain, including U.S. material and tool suppliers and companies that are developing technologies that can be adopted directly into current manufacturing processes.
The following projects will receive funding:
To further develop a new, manufacturing process that dramatically reduces the cost of producing silicon wafers for use in silicon PV modules.
To reduce the cost of manufacturing interdigitated back contact cells, the most efficient silicon solar cells on the market.
To accelerate the research and development, integration and commercialization of an innovative thin film CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, Selenide) PV multi-stage thermal deposition production system in order to manufacture cost-efficient CIGS PV solar cells.