Evergreen Solar, Inc. a developer, marketer, and manufacturer of photovoltaic products for the worldwide market, has been awarded a contract by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to complete a research and development program under the Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology (PVMaT) program.Marlboro, Massachusetts – October 2, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The three-year cost shared agreement, which renews annually, will help continue the development of Evergreen’s String Ribbon manufacturing technology into an advanced process that is virtually continuous, thereby reducing manufacturing costs, according to the company. In addition, the program will further Evergreen’s development of its innovative back contact solar cell and its polymer frameless module technology. Over the expected three years of the contract, NREL will fund US$3.0 million of the US$6.0 million project with Evergreen Solar funding the remaining US$3.0 million. “This contract will support some of our core R&D and manufacturing initiatives over the next three years. We are particularly excited about the potential of these programs to significantly reduce our manufacturing costs while we develop an innovative product platform,” said Mark Farber, President and CEO of Evergreen Solar. “This contract will support our advanced and proprietary cell and module fabrication technologies,” said Farber. “We believe the polymer frameless module technology that we will be developing in this contract will have particular advantages in the rapidly growing building integrated solar market.” The PVMaT program is designed to strengthen the role of the U.S. industry in the world PV market through partnerships that lead to manufacturing and product improvements. A research and development partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy and members of the U.S. PV industry, PVMaT aims to help U.S. industry improve PV manufacturing processes and equipment; accelerate manufacturing cost reductions for PV modules, balance-of-systems components, and integrated systems; increase commercial product performance and reliability; and enhance the investment opportunities for substantially scaling up U.S. manufacturing capacity and increasing U.S. market share.