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The U.S. Department of Energy announced the launch of the Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium.
The $20 million initiative will be administered by the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and aims to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells, as well as form new markets for solar cell products, according to an Aug. 1 news release.
“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,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in the release. “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.”
The consortium is intended to innovate new technological advances to help "increase America's competitiveness, bolster domestic innovation and support clean energy deployment," the release reported. The consortium will be led by the University of Toledo, First Solar, Colorado State University, Toledo Solar Inc, and Sivananthan Laboratories Inc. The leaders were chosen through a competitive solicitation.
“To move America forward, we need an all-of-the-above strategy that propels our energy independence, lowers costs and creates good-paying jobs," Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, said, according to the release. "Northern Ohio has already revolutionized the field of solar technology. 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."
“Our world requires scientific innovation to address the inefficient ways we find, produce and consume energy,” said University of Toledo President Dr. Gregory Postel, according to the release. “The University of Toledo 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."
"We're creating a solar energy future built by American workers," the U.S. Department of Energy said in an Aug. 1 Twitter post. "Our new consortium administered by @NREL will help make cutting-edge solar tech more accessible and affordable, while securing our supply chain and generating more good-paying jobs."