Plainview-based Veeco Instruments Inc. has won a $4.8-million U.S. Energy Department grant as part of a national effort to usher in an era of inexpensive solar power.
The grant is part of the federal SunShot program aimed at reducing photovoltaic production costs by 75 percent, to about $1 per kilowatt hour. That would make solar competitive with traditional power sources.
The $4.8-million grant will go toward research and development at the company's Veeco Solar Equipment division in Lowell, Mass., for its "innovative thin film CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, Diselenide) PV multistage thermal deposition production system.”
Four other companies, in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, got similar Energy Department grants totaling $27 million.
"America is in a world race to produce cost-effective, quality photovoltaics," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a prepared statement.
"These efforts will boost our economic competitiveness, rebuild our manufacturing industry and help reach the president's goal of doubling our clean energy in the next 25 years."