New Research Group Launched to Grow America’s Solar Industry
WASHINGTON — A new research group has been launched to make cadmium telluride solar cells less expensive, more efficient and develop new markets for solar cell products.
Cadmium telluride solar cells were first developed in the United States and are the second-most common photovoltaic technology in the world after silicon.
The Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium was launched by the Energy Department with $20 million in seed money to strengthen domestic manufacturing capacity and bolster the U.S. supply chain.
Without an expansion of capacity, department officials said, the U.S. would be forced to continue to rely on clean energy imports and lose out on the thousands of job opportunities associated with the energy transition.
“As solar continues its reign as one of the cheapest forms of energy powering our homes and businesses, we are committed to a solar future that is built by American workers,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in a written statement.
“DOE is proud to partner with leading solar researchers and companies to chart the future of CdTe technology, which presents an immense opportunity for domestic manufacturers to help ensure our nation’s security while providing family-sustaining jobs,” she added.
The effort will be centered on Ohio, where First Solar recently announced it is spending $680 million to build and expand its manufacturing presence in the state.
“Now, through this remarkable partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the University of Toledo, and First Solar — our region will become a hub of next-generation energy innovation that is built right here at home by Ohio’s workers,” Rep. Macy Kaptur, D-Ohio said.
Dr. Gregory Postel, president of University of Toledo, another partner in the program, said in a statement, the university is proud to help power the future by leading this consortium that leverages our expertise in solar energy research and commercialization and strengthens our partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and other leaders in this important and growing field.”
For more information on the program, click here.