Companies with innovative, game-changing ways to lower
the cost of solar energy have been awarded $5.8 million to work with the U.S.
Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The SunShot Incubator Program is an expansion of DOE’s
successful PV Technology Incubator Program, launched in 2007, which to date has
funded $60 million in projects and leveraged $1.3 billion in private
Its primary goal is to advance the timeline and
commercial potential of new manufacturing processes and products with the
potential for dramatic price improvements.
“When these companies work with NREL researchers,
they increase the likelihood that they reach their performance and reliability
objectives and reach them soon,” NREL Incubator Manager Brian Keyes says. The
NREL imprimatur in turn lowers risk and gives assurance to venture capitalists
and other private investors that the technology can be a good investment.
The latest awardees selected in a highly competitive
process include three companies from California
and one from Vermont.
They will work with NREL
scientists to overcome technical and practical barriers to commercialization
and must meet stringent performance deadlines or be dropped from the program.