This week saw a number of funding incidents in solar. Here’s a quick round-up.
Massachusetts’ 1366 Technologies just announced that the U.S. DOE hasoffered a conditional commitment to the startup for a $150 million loanguarantee. The company is working on a method of fabricating siliconsolar cells directly from molten silicon, and process that will becheaper and require less material. This contrasts with the multi-step,batch process of ingot casting, blocking, squaring, and sawing thatwastes significant portions of high-value silicon.
The DOE and Steve Chu have been absolutely ebullient about this firmfor years, despite its lack of commercial progress so far. In October2009, 1366 received a $4 million grant from the DOE’s Advanced ResearchProjects Agency (ARPA-E) to support the development of this technology.This processing technology fits into Chu’s SunShot program vision of $0.50-per-watt modules.