by Caleb Denison,
More federal money is being dispersed under the SunShot Initiative, this time aimed directly at the manufacturing sector. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu announced that up to $112.5 million would be allocated over five years to support the development of advanced solar photovoltaic (PV)-related manufacturing processes throughout the United States.
The “SunShot Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships” are meant to help the solar power industry get past technical barriers and ultimately reduce costs for PV installations. The DOE expects that streamlining PV manufacturing will help the U.S. regain its place as the global market leader in solar and ensure long term clean-jobs security.
The DOE indicated that this program is modeled on SEMATECH (Semiconductor Manufacturing TECHnology), a non-profit consortium that was created to help boost the U.S. domestic semiconductor industry and its global market share. It did so by identifying and collectively addressing manufacturing problems within the industry. The project was considered successful and now, through this award, SEMATECH will apply similar processes toward helping the U.S. recapture its lead in solar manufacturing.
Funding was made available for applicants in university and industry. Both topics consider collaborative research models to accelerate manufacturing-related technologies and provide maximum leverage to federal funding. The selected projects, their slice of the funds and a description of each projects’ focus are listed here.
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