SunShot-backed Consortium to Study Durable Solar PV Materials

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will provide $30 million in funding from its SunShot Initiative to support research that will accelerate development of solar PV module materials that could lower the cost of electricity generated by solar power.

Four national laboratories will partner to form the Durable Module Materials (DuraMat) National Lab Consortium under the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Energy Materials Network. The national lab partners include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

NREL, in a Sept. 15 statement, said that DuraMat will work with industry and academia to develop, characterize, and deploy new materials and architectures that will improve the value of PV modules for PV manufacturers, plant developers, financiers, and utilities.

“DuraMat provides easily accessible capabilities that bring the national lab and university research infrastructure together with the PV and supply-chain industries,” Teresa Barnes with NREL’s Materials Science Center said in the statement. “Our research strategy integrates data analytics, module durability testing, prototyping, predictive modeling, field deployment, materials discovery, materials forensics, and technology transfer to accelerate module material development and reduce the cost of electricity from photovoltaics.”

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