Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg

Solar Power Gets $46 Million Boost From U.S. Energy Department

  • Technology grants awarded to 48 universities and developers
  • Arizona State leads awards with new module testing methods

The U.S. Energy Department awarded $46.2 million in research grants to improve solar energy technologies and reduce costs to 3 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2030.

The money will be partly matched by the 48 projects awarded to laboratories and universities, including Arizona State, which plans to use $1.6 million to develop an X-ray test to evaluate the performance of thin-film modules under harsh conditions, according to a emailed statement Wednesday.

“These projects ensure there’s a pipeline of knowledge, human resources, transformative technology solutions and research to support the industry,” Charlie Gay, director of the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative, said in the statement.

Other awards include:

  • $1.37 million to Stanford University to improve a perovskite over silicon module design
  • $1.13 million to Colorado State University to improve thin-film manufacturing
  • $2 million to SolarReserve Inc. to reduce costs of molten salt storage
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