Today in Cleantech

The Department of Energy’s SunShot program, launched in February with the aim of driving the cost of installed solar power down to $1 per watt, has already handed out $27.3 million in grants to companies ranging from mainline materials makers like 3M to experimental solar startups like Stion and Solexant. Now DOE has announced another $112.5 million in grants over the next five years aimed at collaborations to find efficiencies and drive down costs across parts of the solar manufacturing chain. DOE gave $25 million apiece to two Bay Area groups — the Bay Area PV Consortium based at Stanford, and SVTC Technologies, which provides testing labs to the semiconductor industry. The biggest grant, $62.5 million, will go to the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium, a group managed by SEMATECH (Semiconductor Manufacturing TECHnology), which helped the U.S. recapture market share in the semiconductor space by helping companies share new manufacturing developments in the late 1980s. DOE’s announcement held up SEMATECH as an example of what it’s trying to do with solar PV manufacturing in the SunShot program.

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