PPG Wins $3 Million DOE Grant to Advance PV Glass Technology

Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries has received a $3.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop the materials, coating designs and manufacturing processes necessary to commercialize a new glass article for the cadmium telluride (CdTe) module manufacturing industry.

Cadmium telluride is a thin-film coating that PPG says has the potential to improve the performance of photovoltaic (PV) glass. James McCamy, manager of solar technologies for PPG, says the new glass article will combine three new technological innovations into a single product, with the goal of reducing cadmium telluride module costs by 17 percent by 2015. “This could represent a significant step toward grid parity (cost-competitiveness) for solar energy,” McCamy adds.

The grant is part of a $20 million investment by the DOE in the Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP). The PPG award will be delivered through the Photovoltaic Supply Chain and Cross-Cutting Technologies program, which aims to accelerate the development of unique PV products or processes with the aid of related technologies from non-solar companies.

PPG says technology and process development will be coordinated through the Solar Technologies Group at PPG and project partnerships with the Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics at Colorado State University and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is located in Tennessee and managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.

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