Australia’s Origin Energy Solar Wins Government Backing

The Australian government last week awarded AUD $2 million in grant funding to help propel the commercialization goals of Origin Energy’s unique solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, called the “Sliver” cells.

Sliver technology was invented in conjunction with the Australian National University’s Center for Sustainable Energy Systems. Silver modules are a monocrystalline approach the company says uses up to 90 percent less silicon than typical monocrystalline cells. The company also says the specific design approach of its solar modules allows for improved efficiency under partial-shade situations. Origin is now making Sliver modules at its pilot plant in Regency Park, South Australia. The new funding is expected to boost employment at the facility from a staff of 35 up to 50. Construction of the Origin Energy Solar manufacturing plant was completed in September 2004, with first modules reaching preproduction in December 2004 and progressively larger modules being produced throughout 2005. “We are delighted to again see Origin’s exciting Sliver technology recognized for its potential by the Australian Government,” said Tony Wood, General Manager Public and Government Affairs. Structural Adjustment Fund for South Australia (SAFSA) is a $45 million fund created jointly by the Australian and South Australian Governments. The fund aims to assist companies that are undertaking projects that will significantly impact the South Australian economy. The purpose of SAFSA is to support investment that will create sustainable new jobs in South Australia with a focus on the Adelaide area.
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