News Release: NREL and PrimeStar Solar Sign $870,000 Cooperative Research and Development Agreement

Feb. 28, 2007 | By George Douglas | Contact media relations

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and PrimeStar Solar, Inc. announced today that they have signed an $870,000  Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to transition NREL’s leading cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) technology to commercial module production.  This technology has been used to produce the world record cadmium telluride photovoltaic cell efficiency of 16.5 percent by NREL’s Professor Xuanzhi Wu and his colleagues.

In this agreement, Professor Wu is the principal investigator for NREL while Dr. Joe Beach and Dr. Fred Seymour are the principal investigators for PrimeStar Solar.

"NREL’s mission is to work closely with industries as they begin to make products from next-generation technologies," NREL Associate Director Dr. Stan Bull said. "This is an example of a partnership designed to help move technology out of the laboratory and into the market."

In addition to the technology transfer, this agreement provides PrimeStar Solar with ready access to NREL’s world-class photovoltaic scientists and state-of-the-art equipment.  PrimeStar Solar has leased a 16,000 square foot facility near NREL in Golden, Colorado to develop a pilot plant.  Initial CdTe processing equipment will be delivered in March from PrimeStar’s assembly facility in Michigan. 

"In the last few years, the production of CdTe PV modules has become a fast-growing business because of low cost and high throughput," Professor Wu said.  "My colleagues and I are extremely pleased that PrimeStar is interested in our technology.  We look forward to assisting PrimeStar in successfully scaling up the production of low-cost CdTe PV modules."

About PrimeStar Solar

PrimeStar Solar has secured seed capital in excess of $6M from individual investors and a global investment bank to help fund a portion of the initial scale up work. The Company plans to rapidly scale up low cost CdTe photovoltaic module production. 

About NREL

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by Midwest Research Institute and Battelle.