US DOE invests $71 million to advance American solar manufacturing

As part of the Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced a $71 million investment in research, development, and demonstration projects to grow the network of domestic manufacturers across the U.S. solar energy supply chain. 

The selected projects will address gaps in the domestic solar manufacturing capacity for supply chain including equipment, silicon ingots and wafers, and both silicon and thin-film solar cell manufacturing. The projects will also open new markets for solar technologies such as dual-use photovoltaic (PV) applications, including building-integrated PV and agrivoltaics. 


These efforts complement and strengthen the goal to rapidly deploy clean energy to help achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. 

A part of this funding will go towards silicon solar manufacturing and related technologies, with ten selected projects to receive funding. 

Thin-film PV technologies, such as cadmium telluride (CdTe) and perovskites, have potential advantages over the current dominant silicon technology, such as less energy-intensive manufacturing, lower manufacturing costs, simpler supply chains, and greater lifetime energy yield. Of the eight projects DOE selected for the Advancing U.S. Thin-Film Solar Photovoltaics funding program, four will address opportunities to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and bolster the supply chain for CdTe systems. 

Four other projects will prove out innovative tandem PV devices that pair established PV technologies like silicon and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) with perovskites. 

The selected projects are:

First Solar (Tempe, AZ and Perrysburg, OH): $6 million
CubicPV (Bedford, MA): $6 million
TandemPV (San Jose, CA): $4.7 million
Swift Solar (San Carlos, CA): $7 million
5N Plus (Montreal, Canada): $1.6 million
First Solar (Tempe, AZ and Perrysburg, OH): $15 million
Brightspot Automation (Boulder, CO): $1.6 million
Tau Science (Redwood City, CA): $2.1 million 

Posted: May 19,2024 by Roni Peleg