U.S. Department of Energy

Solar Manufacturing Technology

The SunShot Solar Manufacturing Technology (SolarMat) program funds the development of innovative manufacturing technologies that can achieve a significant market impact in one to four years.

Launched in September 2013, the SolarMat program is supporting five projects working in two topic areas: photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP). Both topics focus on driving down the cost of manufacturing and implementing efficiency-increasing technology in manufacturing.

The SolarMat awardees were announced December 11, 2013. Read the press release.

Awardees

Abengoa Solar

  • Location: Lakewood, CO
  • Amount: $1,943,463
  • Cost Share: $1,943,463
  • Project Summary: Abengoa Solar will demonstrate new manufacturing and assembly technologies for use in concentrating solar power (CSP) parabolic trough systems to achieve cost reduction and also to enable innovative technology to quickly enter the market. This project will focus on highly-automated manufacture of trough components, on-site assembly of the troughs at the solar field and improved quality control using automated inspection.

PPG Industries, Inc.

  • Location: Allison Park, PA
  • Amount: $2,148,729
  • Cost Share: $2,148,733
  • Project Summary: PPG Industries, Inc. will partner with Flextronics International, Inc. to design and pilot a rapid photovoltaic (PV) module assembly process that replaces labor-intensive steps with automation. This approach is expected to increase the rate of module production by a factor of four, cut capital costs in half, and reduce barriers delaying the implementation of next-generation PV technologies that increase module efficiency and reduce costs.

Solaria Corporation

  • Location: Fremont, CA
  • Amount: $2,007,474
  • Cost Share: $3,011,211
  • Project Summary: Solaria will cut costs for its low-concentration silicon PV module by automating manufacturing process steps. This removes a primary barrier to enabling Solaria's high-volume PV module manufacturing in the United States.

SolarWorld Industries America, Inc.

  • Location: Hillsboro, OR
  • Amount: $2,438,126
  • Cost Share: $2,461,316
  • Project Summary: SolarWorld will incorporate an advanced light management system into their PV modules that will achieve substantial efficiency improvements at little additional cost. The light management system reduces optical losses and represents a large, unrealized opportunity for module efficiency improvements. The proposed SolarWorld approach cost-effectively utilizes low-cost components implemented using highly automated robotic systems.

Suniva, Inc.

  • Location: Norcross, GA
  • Amount: 4,499,678
  • Cost Share: $4,918,986
  • Project Summary: Suniva Inc., in partnership with Georgia Institute of Technology, will deploy a low-cost highly efficient silicon PV cell technology that will reach the marketplace within three years and which meets the SunShot 2020 target of ≤ $0.50/W module cost. This effort will overcome cost and efficiency barriers through advances in PV science and technology innovation involving new process tools, resulting in pilot production of 21.5% efficient cells.