Grant to support DOE’s goal of cutting costs of PV systems by 75% before the end of the decade.
After a comprehensive, nationwide competition, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded SVTC Solar, a subsidiary of SVTC Technologies, $25 million in funding as a part of DOE’s SunShot Initiative. This grant supports the start-up of the first photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing development facility (MDF) in the U.S. to reduce the costs and development time for the PV industry. SVTC was selected due to its unparalleled track record in providing technology development services to multiple industries, including work for companies in the PV industry.
The SunShot Initiative was launched to make large-scale photovoltaic solar energy systems competitive with other forms of energy and eliminate the industry’s reliance on subsidies by the end of the decade. The initiative’s goal of reducing the costs of PV solar systems to roughly six cents per kilowatt-hour will allow solar energy systems to be broadly deployed across the country. “The SunShot Initiative will not only keep the United States at the forefront in solar energy research and development, but will help us win the worldwide race to build a solar manufacturing industry that produces solar systems that are cost competitive with fossil fuels,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu.
To support this initiative, SVTC will create a PV MDF based on the company’s highly successful business model of providing semiconductor manufacturers with a state-of-the-art, IP-secure fabrication facility combined with a full suite of commercialization services. The MDF will focus on the commercialization of silicon PV manufacturing processes to enable start-ups and other solar innovators to accelerate development and reduce time-to-market. The goal of this initiative is to reduce the cost, time, and risk associated with the commercialization of PV solutions.
“We are delighted that the U.S. DOE selected SVTC Solar to help advance the development of PV manufacturing. We are committed to the goals of the SunShot Initiative and dedicated to applying SVTC’s proven business model to the photovoltaic industry,” stated Bert Bruggeman, CEO SVTC Technologies. “We will support all types of silicon and wafer-based PV technologies, providing PV innovators with access to a wide range of technologies.”
The DOE program provides developers two access models: a consortium model patterned after the highly successful Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SEMATECH) effort of the 1980’s, and a commercial model based on SVTC’s highly successful Technology Development Process (TDP) — a process that provides customers access to leading-edge technology and enables accelerated commercial development while protecting their valuable IP. The SVTC MDF will provide solar energy innovators access to wide array of PV technology: multi- and mono-crystalline silicon PV, selective-emitter cells, back-contact cells, emitter wrap-through cells, PERC cells, PERL cells, thin-silicon, 3D cells and hybrid PV technologies. In addition, access to SVTC’s specialized experts combined with state-of-the-art PV production-ready tools will enable U.S.-based PV companies to accelerate development of new PV products and technologies and transition to manufacturing faster, less expensively and with lower risk over independently funded efforts — critical in the current investment climate for PV.