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21 October 2009


BluGlass wins $4.96m grant for InGaN solar cell project

BluGlass Ltd of Sydney, Australia has been awarded $4.96m of Commonwealth Government funding to assist with the development and commercialization of its thin-film solar cell technology. The funding is being executed between BluGlass and AusIndustry, which will provide the cash over 33 months on the basis that BluGlass matches the grant with its own expenditure.

Spun off from Macquarie University in 2005, BluGlass has developed a low-temperature process using remote-plasma chemical vapor deposition (RPCVD) to grow materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) and indium gallium nitride (InGaN) for the production of high-efficiency devices such as LEDs with significant low-cost potential and inherent scalability. In May, BluGlass said that it intended to expand its market potential with the exploration of high-efficiency group III nitride solar cells as a supplementary market for its RPCVD technology. Through its subsidiary BluSolar, BluGlass is now exploring the process’ viability in photovoltaic applications.

“The Government backing is a major vote of confidence in BluGlass’s technology,” says CEO Giles Bourne. “This will see Australian technology return to the forefront of solar innovation and adoption as Australia leads the way on climate change mitigation.”

The ‘High-Efficiency Thin-Film Solar Cell’ project aims to develop a third-generation photovoltaic technology for manufacturing solar cells based on indium gallium nitride (InGaN) with greater efficiencies than any current solar cell at commercially competitive costs. The project sets out to reduce the cost of harnessing solar energy, resulting in more widespread adoption of solar technology, particularly by utilities as solar becomes more cost-competitive relative to other renewable technologies and traditional non-renewable resources.

BluGlass has secured the funding under the $75m, four-year Climate Ready Program (one of three elements of the $240m Clean Business Australia initiative). Climate Ready is a competitive grants program providing grants from $50,000 up to $5m on a matching-funding basis to support R&D, proof-of-concept and early-stage commercialization activities to develop solutions to climate change challenges.

Earlier, in July, BluGlass raised $4.247m in capital from existing shareholders, institutional and private investors, to enable expansion of research, development and commercialization of its RPCVD technology for both LED and solar cell applications (allowing commissioning of additional equipment and engineers to fast track the firm’s dual-market exploration, said Bourne at the time). The firm says that the new government grant enhances its ability to continue with its research and commercialization program.

See related items:

BluGlass recruits chief technology officer

BluGlass to grant exclusive Korean RPCVD license to BLK

BluGlass to expand RPCVD to nitride-based solar cells

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