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News Release: Center to Research New Ways to Convert Sunshine to Power and Fuels

April 21, 2008

The newest research center of the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory aims to find ways to directly convert the sun's energy to low-cost electricity and fuels. The Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion (CRSP), announced today by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar and the Collaboratory at the state Capitol in Denver, will be dedicated to basic and applied research at the Collaboratory's four member institutions, the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Colorado School of Mines (CSM), Colorado State University (CSU) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU-Boulder).

Twelve companies also have joined CRSP as founding members, Applied Materials, Ascent Solar Technologies, DuPont, Evident Technologies, Konarka, Lockheed Martin, Motech Industries, QuantumSphere, Sharp, Solasta, Sub-One Technology and SunEdison.

NREL Senior Research Fellow Arthur Nozik will serve as scientific director of CRSP. Co-directors are CU's David Jonas, CSU's Mike Elliott and CSM's Craig Taylor.

"The creation of CRSP is the culmination of a two-year effort to form such a visionary R&D center devoted to revolutionary solar energy science and technology in Colorado," Nozik said. "It brings together many researchers at NREL, CU, CSU, and CSM in public-private partnership between state and federally funded institutions and private corporations."

Initial shared research projects will be selected by CRSP members and funded through membership fees and the Colorado Renewable Energy Authority. Decisions about which projects to fund are expected in the summer, with research beginning in the fall. In addition to shared research, CRSP's sponsored research program will allow any company member to contract with one or more of the research institutions directly.

This is the second center created by the Collaboratory, after the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels. The Collaboratory expects to announce additional centers in wind energy, carbon management and energy efficiency.


"With this new solar energy research center, the Collaboratory will achieve the same successes it is currently making with its biofuels center. The Collaboratory is once again demonstrating that Colorado’s intellectual capital is unmatched by any other state in the country. The Collaboratory is a vital pillar in Colorado’s New Energy Economy and is helping Colorado become an international leader in modern, sustainable energy.”

- Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter

“I am pleased to join the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory in announcing the establishment of the Collaboratory’s second research institute. The creation of the CRSP demonstrates Colorado’s dedication to harnessing the immense potential of solar technology. With NREL and three of Colorado’s finest universities leading the way, Colorado continues to serve as a model to the nation in developing the latest and most innovative renewable resources. I could not be more delighted with this announcement and what it means for Colorado.”

- U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard

“Only one year after its inception, the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory has quickly established itself as the model for renewable energy research and development. Through its unique partnership of private companies and public research institutions, the Collaboratory serves as a vivid example of the fact that we work best when we work together.  I welcome the announcement of the Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion, which will help lay the foundation for a clean energy future fueled by a new generation of solar energy technologies.” 

- U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar

“Colorado has an abundance of sustainable energy resources that are just waiting to be harnessed.  From the wind on our eastern plains and the sun in the San Luis Valley, to the geothermal resources beneath our feet and the biomass in our fields and forests, as well as the intellectual capacity of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the resources of our universities and businesses across the state, Colorado has the opportunity to lead our nation down a path toward energy security and sustainability. Today’s announcement of the Collaboratory’s second research center, the Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion (CRSP), is one more example of the momentum building in this state.  A national energy revolution is beginning to take root, and Colorado sits poised to emerge as the nation’s renewable energy powerhouse.”

- U.S. Rep. Mark Udall

“I would like to congratulate the Collaboratory on the unveiling of the Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion (CRSP).  This center will combine NREL, our state’s research universities, major companies and Colorado’s abundant sun to help fast-track solar energy technologies to our homes and marketplace.  This is yet another example how Colorado is becoming a magnate for renewable energy research for the nation and the world.”

- U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter

“With 300 days of sunshine, we have the nation’s fifth best solar potential – and anyone who has felt a frigid winter gust on a chairlift won’t be surprised to learn we have the 11th best wind potential too. Our legislative efforts this year – providing renewable energy saving incentives for homes and businesses and laying the groundwork for utility-scale solar – demonstrate our ongoing commitment renewable energy.  But it wouldn’t be possible without the work of organizations like the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory; I applaud CREC for helping us harness our clean energy potential.”  

- Colorado House Majority Leader Alice Madden

"The mission of the Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion complements the mission of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Both strive to make rapid progress in research and development of science and technology that can lead the nation and the world to a cleaner, less expensive, more secure energy future. This can best be done through collaborative projects such as CRSP."

- NREL Director Dan Arvizu

"It’s exciting to see the Collaboratory move forward so quickly.  With this second research center, Mines continues a longtime, multidisciplinary collaboration with NREL on solar energy research projects, and looks forward to working with CU, CSU and our many industry partners to develop further solar technologies. Together we will find innovative, marketable solutions to the challenges of this promising energy source."  

- Colorado School of Mines President, M.W. “Bill” Scoggins

“CU-Boulder's participation in Collaboratory research centers such as CRSP is part of a broader spectrum of activities related to renewable energy and sustainability. These activities, which include cutting-edge research, new courses and degree programs, commercialization of new technologies and numerous public outreach events, are organized under CU-Boulder's Energy Initiative and are transforming the nation's and indeed, the world's energy landscape."

- University of Colorado at Boulder Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson

"Colorado State University is excited to partner with CRSP to continue to advance the work it is doing in basic and applied photovoltaics research.  We believe the combined expertise among the Collaboratory institutions will contribute significantly to the next generation of solar energy technologies."

- Colorado State University Vice President for Research Bill Farland

“The Collaboratory’s announcement of the Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion further demonstrates the high-level of activity surrounding renewable energy in Colorado. Through CRSP and the leadership of Governor Ritter, Colorado is focusing the resources of private industry and our public institutions to advance a range of solar technologies. With CRSP, we are supporting strategic investment in a rapidly growing solar market, and adding to Colorado’s status as the Cleantech hub for energy in America.  The research and development partnership showcased through CRSP is also another strong example of how thoughtfully formed public-private partnerships benefit Colorado’s economy and create a climate where business and research work together to push innovation and create growth and jobs.”

- Don Elliman, Director, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade

"The Collaboratory brings together Colorado's unique alternative energy assets in a manner like no other competitor.  Rather than presenting each individual institution's expertise, the Collaboratory markets the entire asset of all the institutions.  Quite simply, the Collaboratory presents itself in a manner familiar to companies.  The result will be more jobs and investment in Colorado's economy."

- Tom Clark, Executive Vice President, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation

“As a mass-collaborative effort aimed at growing our regional economy, the Northern Colorado Clean Energy Cluster (NCCEC) looks forward to working with the Collaboratory’s newest major research center – the Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion (CRSP).  The basic research this center offers is an important strategic long-term investment for Colorado. We are committed to helping CRSP convert this research into new companies and jobs in Colorado and applying our region’s systems integration and smart-grid capabilities to expand the promise of evolving solar technologies."

- Northern Colorado Clean Energy Cluster Executive Director Judy Dorsey

"Ascent Solar is proud to be a charter member of CRSP. As a Colorado manufacturer of flexible CIGS photovoltaics, we are excited about this new endeavor by the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory to promote research in areas critical to us maintaining a competitive edge. We also hope that this relationship with CRSP will help foster the growth of the workforce we will need as we expand our operations in Colorado."

- Joseph Armstrong, Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc., Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

"CRSP represents a wonderful opportunity for DuPont to participate in developing the next generation of critical solar energy conversion technologies by working with some of the thought leaders in this important field of science."

- Steven C. Freilich of DuPont Central Research and Development

“Solar energy conversion is a major new focus for Evident Technologies and our membership in CRSP is just what we were looking for to help accelerate technical and product development. We are proud to be founding members because we get to work directly with the brightest and best minds in the industry, which will surely help us reach our collective goal of creating revolutionary solar energy.”

- Clint Ballinger, Ph.D., CEO, Evident Technologies, Inc.

"We are delighted to be a founding member in support of CRSP. With its multi-campus research capabilities and the coordinated effort of the center for advanced solar research in part with Dr. Arthur Nozik's work in organic photovoltaics, there is broad appeal and interest from Konarka in terms of its potential for future commercialization."

- Howard Berke, Executive Chairman and co-founder of Konarka

"Lockheed Martin is delighted to be one of the founding members of the Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion (CRSP). It gives Lockheed Martin a unique opportunity to collaborate and engage with advanced solar energy research efforts at NREL, and Colorado institutions such as CSM, CU and CSU."

- Suraj Rawal, Senior Manager, Research and Technology Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company

"Motech has many strong connections to Colorado, with myself having worked in PV research at SERI/NREL for 18 years.  We look forward to building on these connections to expand our R&D efforts in Colorado and working with CRSP to develop advanced PV technologies."

-  Simon Tsuo, Chairman and CEO, Motech Industries

"QuantumSphere is dedicated to helping bring about the changes needed to assure a sustainable energy future.  Our nano catalyst materials already improve the production of hydrogen from solar electricity.  We believe as we move towards other applications and newer materials, we can also contribute to newer solar electricity and solar fuel production.  Being a founding member of CRSP is a symbol of that commitment."

- Kevin Maloney, CEO, QuantumSphere, Inc.

"Sharp has already supplied solar panels of 2GWp(giga watt peak) all over the world, and contributed to global warming prevention as an environment-friendly company.  Now we hope to be responsible for more expansion of renewable energy utilization. Meanwhile, every hour, the sun radiates more energy onto the earth than the entire human population uses in one whole year. Sharp believes that we can finally stop global warming in the future, making effective use of this huge and clean energy. To achieve it, new technologies to improve conversion efficiency and to reduce costs are needed, and moreover, a whole new technology based on novel concepts for solar power conversion is also necessary. We think that CRSP's approach corresponds with our future vision and the participation in CRSP is the most effective for the realization of our goal."

- Sharp Corporation

“SunEdison is pleased to be a founding member of the Center. This is an exciting partnership between world class research institutions and private industry. The Center’s research and work with companies like SunEdison will address the goals of achieving cost effective, standardized sustainable energy supplies.  It is truly an exciting development.”

- Thomas (Tom) Rainwater, CEO of SunEdison

Media may contact:

Collaboratory: David Hiller/ 303/376-2631

NREL: George Douglas/ 303-275-4096

CSU: Michele McKinney/ 303-507-3110

CU: Bronson Hilliard/ 303-735-6183

CSM: Marsha Williams/ 303-273-3326

DuPont: Michelle Reardon/ 302.774.7447

Evident: Dave Duncan/ 518-273-6266

Konarka: Tracy Wemett, BroadPR, Inc./ 617-868-5031

Lockheed Martin: Gary Napier/ 303.971.4012

Motech: Lee Tsuo/ 720-238-2730

QuantumSphere: Michele Kinman/ 408-218-8815

SunEdison: Loretta Prencipe 703.941.0277


—George Douglas