Up to $53 million in federal funding has been awarded for a wide array of innovative efforts designed to advance photovoltaic and solar thermal power.
The money is coming from the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
In announcing the funding, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, in a statement, remarked, “Innovation is key to solar’s continued growth in our nation’s energy portfolio. It increases our energy diversity and reinforces our ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy.”
The funding, which includes nearly $28 million for photovoltaics research and development, is for projects based in 21 states, as well as the District of Columbia.
In that category, the Colorado School of Mines is receiving $200,000 for research work in mixed perovskite photovoltaics; while Arizona State University has also been awarded $50,000 for work on high performance silicon solar cells.
Also, the Amtech Systems company, based in Tempe, Arizona, has won $1.1 million for its work on field effect passivation in crystalline silicon solar cells.
In the area of solar power research and development, the Department of Energy is awarding a total of $12.4 million in grants including $321,000 for the development of front surface concentrated solar power reflectors at the Sundog Solar Technology company in Arvada, Colorado.
Another $1.8 million is going to the Colorado School of Mines for the development of fluidized beds to be used for effective particle thermal energy transport and storage.
The solar power research and development awards are designed in particular to fund early stage research projects that can lead to a 50 percent reduction in energy costs between now and 2030.
According to a Department of Energy press release, such projects “will develop and test new ways to accelerate the integration of emerging technologies into the solar industry.”
The Trump Administration has pushed for reducing solar and other renewable spending by the DOE. But at the same time it has emphasized an increase in projects that can lead to more jobs.
This latest list of awards showed a total of $12.7 million being awarded in the workforce initiative category.
By Garry Boulard
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