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NREL Announces Awards For PV Incubator Program

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has announced partnerships with 13 U.S. small solar businesses that have the capability to enter the market by 2012. The following companies received awards:Banyan Energy Inc., based in Kensington, Calif., will develop a flat Aggregated Total Internal Reflection optic for moderate concentrating photovoltaic systems.

Crystal Solar Inc., based in Santa Clara, Calif., will develop thin crystal silicon solar cells on ceramic substrates.International Solar Electric Technology Inc., based in Chatsworth, Calif., (will develop low-cost, monolithically integrated, printed CuInGaSe2 modules on flexible stainless steel substrates. TiSol LLC, based in Pasadena, Calif., will develop a viable technology for thin-film deposition in open atmosphere using a flame-synthesis methodology.Ascent Solar Technologies Inc., based in Littleton, Colo., will develop zinc magnesium oxide window layers enabling high-performance mid-bandgap CuInGaSe2 on polyimide modules.

EPIR Technologies Inc., based in Bolingbrook, Ill., will develop a high-efficiency, single-crystal cadmium telluride solar cell. MicroLink Devices, based in Niles, Ill., will develop high-efficiency, low-cost, multijunction solar cells based on epitaxial liftoff and wafer bonding.1366 Technologies Inc., based in Lexington, Mass., will develop a kerfless wafering technique for the production of silicon wafers. Lightwave Power Inc., based in Cambridge, Mass., together with Iowa State University, will develop a roll-to-roll photonic-enhanced thin film solar cell.Vanguard Solar Inc., based in Sudbury, Mass., will develop a nanostructured II/VI semiconductor-based thin-film photovoltaic cell.

Semprius Inc., based in Durham, N.C., will optimize the primary and secondary optics for a transfer-printed microcell-based concentrating photovoltaic module.SpectraWatt Inc., based in Hillsboro, Ore., will improve silicon solar cell efficiency through the use of an additive nano-structured material.Luna Innovations Inc., based in Danville, Va., will investigate new acceptor molecules for the development of improved, high-efficiency organic photovoltaic cells. In addition, NREL is currently seeking project proposals as part of recently announced DOE funding to accelerate commercialization of solar energy technologies.The anticipated program funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is $9 million. The subcontracts – up to $3 million each – will be awarded as 18-month phased subcontracts.

Australia-based CBD Energy Ltd. has obtained approximately $300,000 in loan approvals for residential solar photovoltaic systems under its U.S. solar installations brand, Westinghouse Solar.The loans will support operations in the Greater Boston region. Westinghouse Solar says the loan program allows its customers to retain the full benefit of available tax credits and other renewable energy incentives.In May, Westinghouse Solar began offering financing of up to $45,000 on residential solar systems for qualified customers from $20 million of third-party funding capacity allocated to the company.
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