Spire Gets NREL Go Ahead For Phase II of CPV Development Contract

Spire Corporation announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Spire Semiconductor LLC, has successfully completed Phase I of its High Efficiency Concentrator Solar Cell program with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and has been notified the NREL will authorized Phase II of the program.

Under the 18-month, US $3.7 million cost share subcontract, Spire Semiconductor is developing technology to cost-effectively manufacture 42% efficient, 500 sun, concentrator solar cells for concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems. PV cell performances of greater than 39% efficiency were achieved during Phase I.

Spire Semiconductor passed through the NREL Stage Gate Review, a go/no go decision point to validate the progression of the project and assure that progress meets contract objectives. These objectives include estimates of competitive Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), annual manufacturing capacity potential, direct manufacturing cost and cell Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF).

“We are very happy to be given the go ahead with our program,” said Roger Little, chairman and CEO of Spire Corporation. “It validates our efforts toward developing a proprietary gallium arsenide (GaAs) concentrator solar cell that exceeds anything commercially available. The PV industry will continue to grow significantly this year and well into the future. CPV systems offer many advantages. With Spire’s strong position in the solar industry, the availability of our custom GaAs concentrator will put us in a good position to help our customers meet this market demand.”

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