U.S. Department of Energy

SunShot Photovoltaic Manufacturing Initiative

The SunShot Photovoltaic Manufacturing Initiative (PVMI) invests in manufacturing-focused research projects that strengthen the competitiveness of the U.S. PV module industry and supply chain. PVMI funding also establishes manufacturing development facilities that provide infrastructure for demonstrating, testing, optimizing, and manufacturing new technologies with reduced capital requirements.

The goals of the SunShot Photovoltaic Manufacturing Initiative are to:

  • Help the solar power industry overcome technical barriers
  • Reduce costs for PV installations
  • Help the United States regain the lead in the global market for solar technologies
  • Provide support for clean energy jobs for years to come.

PVMI: Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships is engaging multiple companies across the PV supply chain to enable substantial cost reductions in PV module production. These collaborative organizations are demonstrating new technologies for manufacturing scale-up and assisting with the transition to commercial production.

Awardees

DOE is investing more than $110 million over five years in the following Photovoltaic Manufacturing Initiative organizations, for both university-focused and industry-focused development activities. These awards were announced on April 5, 2011.

Bay Area PV Consortium
Stanford, California

The Bay Area PV Consortium (BAPVC) funds industry-relevant research and development to impact high-volume PV manufacturing using a competitive selection process open to all universities. This project, managed by Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, develops and tests innovative new materials, device structures, and fabrication processes necessary to produce cost-effective PV modules in high volumes. The research advances technologies that bring down manufacturing costs and improve device performance characteristics to help achieve SunShot cost targets. Member companies determine the specific topics for research and development to ensure close alignment with industry and manufacturing needs and review individual project progress.

SVTC Solar
San Jose, California

SVTC Solar, a subsidiary of SVTC Technologies, is a leading provider of semiconductor development and commercialization services. The company is creating a fee-for-service PV Manufacturing Development Facility (MDF) accessible to other PV companies. The facility will be able to accommodate a range of services and equipment, including complete manufacturing lines, access to individual tools, manufacturing expertise, secure fabrication space for users' proprietary tools, and pilot production services — all in a secure intellectual property environment.

The MDF is focusing on the commercialization of silicon PV manufacturing processes and technologies. It aims to reduce the costs and development time for participating PV industry leaders to deliver innovative, emerging technologies from the laboratory to commercial manufacturing lines. These capabilities enable start-ups, materials suppliers, and other PV innovators to eliminate a major portion of their up-front capital costs and initial operating costs during product development and pilot production, potentially accelerating development and time to market by 12 to 15 months.

U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium
Albany, New York, and Palm Bay, Florida

Managed by SEMATECH, the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) is coordinating an industry-driven initiative to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of next‐generation copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin film PV manufacturing technologies, tools, and materials. PVMC seeks to drive down the cost and risk of bringing CIGS technologies to the marketplace. In partnership with the PV industry, PVMC will develop a PV Technology Roadmap to guide the industry in assessing research and development needs and opportunities for innovation. In addition, PVMC will operate complementary programs to foster new PV technologies and firms, and to develop the U.S. PV workforce.

PVMC with its major partner, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the State University of New York at Albany, is establishing manufacturing development facilities that PV companies and researchers can use for product prototyping, demonstration, and pilot‐scale manufacturing to evaluate and validate CIGS thin film and PV manufacturing technologies. PVMC is also working with the University of Central Florida to develop cost-effective in-line measurement and inspection tools to enable increased PV manufacturing yield.

Learn more about similar SunShot projects.