Konarka Technologies is one of 13 selected industry-led solar technology projects to be awarded funding by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) as part of President Bush's Solar America Initiative (SAI), a component of his Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI), announced in his 2006 State of the Union Address. The SAI project sponsors, to receive up to $168 million in funding, subject to appropriation from Congress, were announced by DoE Secretary Samuel W. Bodman while visiting Konarka Global Headquarters in Lowell, Mass.
Konarka's project will focus on manufacturing research and product reliability assurance for extremely low-cost photovoltaic cells using organic dyes that convert sunlight to electricity. Partners for this project include NREL and the University of Delaware. Subject to negotiations, DoE funding for the first year of the project is expected to be $1.2 million, with approximately $3.6 million available over three years if the team meets its goals.
Craig Cornelius, the technology manager of the Department of Energy Solar Energies Program, stated "Because of its potential to deliver very low-cost solutions to the existing grid-tied markets, the DoE considers organic photovoltaics to be a vital element of our research and development portfolio. As well, with its manufacturability, high-volume potential and desired material attributes, it can open up applications for the market."