Research Initiative to Manufacture Solar Products

Materials and Manufacturing Ontario (MMO), the University of Toronto, Elizabeth Witmer, Deputy Premier, Minister of Education and MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo and ARISE Technologies Corporation have announced a research initiative which will lead to a new generation of photovoltaic products, bringing solar energy to the marketplace.

WATERLOO, Ontario – June 20, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] “New manufacturing processes are needed to bring the cost down to make solar energy more widely accessible for a greater range of applications. This project is another important step forward in making solar energy a mainstream technology in Canada,” said Ian MacLellan, President and CEO of ARISE Technologies Corporation. “This initiative has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of manufacturing PV materials and will demonstrate the positive impact solar energy can have on the environment.” “Producing a commercially viable solar energy alternative is an important step in making clean and renewable solar energy available for Ontarians,” said Geoff Clarke, president and chief executive officer of MMO. “This collaboration is one more example of MMO supporting excellence in university research and making connections between that research and the needs of Ontario industry.” Last week the provincial Select Committee on Alternative Fuel Sources tabled its final report in the Ontario Legislature that included recommendations on fostering Renewable Energy sources including solar. This all-party Committee of the Ontario Legislature was given the broad mandate “to investigate, report and recommend ways of supporting the development and application of environmentally sustainable alternatives to our existing fossil (carbon-based) fuel sources.” Recommendations included establishing a 3-year program to provide a rebate of up to 25 percent of the purchase of solar panels on up to 100,000 homes. This new process for manufacturing solar panels has been developed by researchers at the University of Toronto. Called “DC Saddle-Field Thin Film Deposition”, it is expected to lower solar panel costs and increase solar panel performance compared to products manufactured with traditional technologies. Materials and Manufacturing Ontario (MMO), one of the four Ontario Centres of Excellence, provided $150,000 in financial support for the first year of the research initiative. MMO has made plans for the partners to refine their projects and resubmit for funding in future years. The research initiative, led by U of T Prof. Stefan Zukotynski, involves ARISE Technologies Corporation, of Kitchener, who will be providing $250,000 plus considerable in-kind contributions. Arise will eventually manufacture the products on this technology.
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