Feinstein in the News

  • Energy Department grants expected to create jobs, solidify California as solar industry leader 
  • ‘Solar is a proven job-creator’

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded two California organizations a total of $50 million in grants through the federal “SunShot” initiative.

The grants, awarded to SVTC Technologies in San Jose and the Bay Area PV Consortium, managed by Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, are intended to boost American competitiveness in the global solar energy industry and lower the cost of renewable energy by supporting advanced solar photovoltaic-related manufacturing processes.

“Solar is a proven job-creator and will help wean us off foreign oil — supporting the growth of this industry is a win-win,” says U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California. “California has always had the right balance of investment and know-how to push this industry, and that's exactly what we're now seeing happen.”

A $25 million grant to SVTC Technologies in San Jose will create a fee-for-service photovoltaic manufacturing development facility that will enable start-ups, materials suppliers, and other photovoltaic innovators to eliminate a major portion of their up-front capital and operating costs during product development and pilot production.

A $25 million grant to the Bay Area PV Consortium—managed by Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley — will fund industry-relevant research and development to impact high volume photovoltaic manufacturing using a competitive selection process open to all universities. This project will develop and test the innovative new materials, device structures, and fabrication processes necessary to achieve cost effective photovoltaic modules in high volume production.

The goal of the SunShot initiative is to reduce costs of photovoltaic solar energy systems by about 75 percent, making them competitive with other forms of energy without the need for subsidies.

“Expanding the U.S. solar energy industry is an important part of the administration's goals to diversify our electricity supply and rebuild America's manufacturing base to create jobs now and in the future,” says Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The SunShot Initiative will not only keep the United States at the forefront in solar energy research and development, but will help us win the worldwide race to build a solar manufacturing industry that produces solar systems that are cost competitive with fossil fuels.”