BP Solar Selected for Solar America Initiative Award from US Department of Energy
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will participate in the first phase of a three-year, $40 million research and development program proposed by BP Solar and its partners aimed at decreasing the cost of solar cells and increasing their efficiency in order to make solar power cost competitive with electricity generated by other means. The DOE Solar America Initiative grant, which could be up to $7.5 million in Phase 1, was announced today by US Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman.
"I want to thank the Department of Energy and Secretary Samuel Bodman
for their careful evaluation of our proposal and for their support," said
BP America Chairman and President Bob Malone. "Our shared goal is to lower
the cost and increase the supply of clean, renewable energy. BP is working
with other companies, with leading research institutions and universities
and with government to achieve the scientific, engineering and
manufacturing breakthroughs to make that possible. This program is an
important part of that effort."
Announced in 2006 by President George W. Bush, the goal of the Solar
America Initiative is to reduce the cost of solar power so that by 2015 it
is at grid-parity, or cost-competitive with electricity generated by other
means. The DOE grant will help fund phase 1 of a proposed, multi-phase,
three-year research and development effort to reduce the cost of solar
power by expanding the supply of solar grade silicon, reducing the amount
of silicon required in the manufacture of solar panels, increasing the
efficiency of existing solar panels and developing new, lower cost
distribution, installation and finance programs.
"BP Solar is excited to be partnering with the DOE in this effort to
make solar power more cost effective," said BP Solar President Lee Edwards.
"We believe that we can make solar power cost competitive by working with
suppliers to expand the availability of solar grade silicon, by improving
our manufacturing processes so that less silicon is used in each solar
cell, by improving the energy efficiency of the cells we make and by
developing products that are less expensive to install."
is working to reduce the thickness of solar cells by 50
percent while increasing efficiency 25 percent.
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