11 April 2011

DOE awards $57m to CNSE CIGS PV project

Last week, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $57m award to The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany — State University of New York (SUNY) as part of its SunShot Advanced PV Manufacturing Partnerships Program.

Epitaxial deposition and process equipment maker Veeco Instruments Inc of Plainview, NY, USA, which provides web coating systems for manufacturing CIGS (copper indium gallium diselenide) solar cells, says that it is a key partner for CNSE on the project as part of the US Photovoltaic Consortium (PVMC), which is coordinating an industry-driven R&D initiative to accelerate the development, manufacturing and commercialization of next-generation CIGS thin-film PV manufacturing technologies (with the aim of driving down the cost and risk of bringing them to the market).

The DOE’s SunShot Initiative aims to reduce the total costs of photovoltaic solar energy systems by about 75% so that CIGS solar is cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade. Achieving this goal — equivalent to about $1 per watt (or roughly 6 cents per kilowatt-hour for utility systems) — would allow solar energy systems to be broadly deployed across the USA.

“Driven by the world-class innovation at CNSE, the PVMI CIGS consortium will provide a full-scale CIGS center enabling the whole PV supply chain to work together to deploy new technologies, and enable the transition to commercial production,” comments Veeco’s CEO John Peeler. “Bringing together end-users, module manufacturers, suppliers and technologists is the most efficient way to rapidly advance technology. This center has all the elements to speed the progress of CIGS commercialization,” he adds. “In addition to acknowledging the Department of Energy for this funding and their support of CIGS technology advancement, Veeco would like to take this opportunity to thank our Congressman, Steve Israel, who has been instrumental in helping get the PVMI project off the ground,” Peeler notes.

“Investments in our growing clean technology industry are critical to both our economic recovery and our national security,” Israel comments. “This latest Department of Energy funding and support of the CNSE PVMI project will bolster our efforts to compete globally as a clean energy leader,” he adds.

“CNSE and SEMATECH [which co-manage PVMC] have a proven model demonstrated in the semiconductor industry,” notes David Bruns, senior VP, Veeco Solar. “By leveraging this model, we are confident the same success can be achieved in solar. The DOE's commitment to CIGS and Veeco has been strong and we are appreciative of their continued support,” he adds. Veeco received a $4.8m DOE R&D grant in February to help speed its development of CIGS equipment technology. Veeco Solar currently has a small-scale pilot production line for CIGS development in the Greater Albany region.

“On behalf of the UAlbany NanoCollege, we applaud the leadership and support of New York’s federal delegation, led by Senior Senator Chuck Schumer along with Congressmen Paul Tonko, Chris Gibson and Steve Israel, in helping to secure this investment by the DOE,” says CNSE senior VP & CEO Dr Alain E. Kaloyeros. “Building on investments made by New York State and coupled with the pioneering model established by CNSE, this will infuse critical capital to position New York and the US as world leaders in 21st century photovoltaic technologies,” he adds. “We look forward to working with Veeco as a key partner in our new PV Manufacturing Center.”

See related items:

Veeco receives $4.8m DOE grant to speed multi-stage CIGS PV tool development

See: Veeco Company Profile

Tags: Veeco CIGS

Visit: www.veeco.com

Visit: http://cnse.albany.edu

Visit: www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/sunshot

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