Cadmium Telluride Photovoltaics Accelerator Consortium Solicitation

NREL released a competitive solicitation for a consortium on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office's Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) Photovoltaics (PV) Accelerator program.

The CdTe PV Accelerator program, announced by the U.S. Department of Energy on March 25, 2021, is designed to:

  • Support the planning and operations of a technology development consortium to enhance U.S. technology leadership and competitiveness in CdTe PV
  • Enable cell efficiencies above 24% and module costs below $0.20/W by 2025
  • Enable cell efficiencies above 26% and module costs below $0.15/W by 2030
  • Maintain or increase domestic CdTe PV material and module production through 2030.

The CdTe PV Accelerator solicitation will formalize the leadership to identify the technology development priorities of a consortium consisting of leading companies and research institutes that are able to impact the entire domestic CdTe supply chain.

The solicitation was released on June 7. Proposals were due by July 19, 2021.

Additional information can be found by viewing the June 14 webinar slides or webinar recording.

Sign Up To Receive Updates About the Solicitation

Note: Your email address and other information will be used to provide you with updates about the CdTe Consortium Solicitation. Only authorized NREL staff will have access to it, and it will be retained for the length of the solicitation, likely one year. For more information, see NREL's security and privacy notices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once selected, the consortium leadership is expected to:

  • Develop a CdTe technology road map
    • Create and annually update a technology road map to maintain U.S. technology leadership in CdTe PV
    • Conduct stakeholder engagement activities when developing and updating the road map
  • Conduct research projects and programs
    • Develop and launch research projects within consortium leadership institutions and in collaboration with other institutions to meet the targets set within the technology road map
  • Assess the domestic CdTe supply chain
    • Regularly assess the state of the U.S. CdTe manufacturing supply chain and identify any critical material or capacity constraints
    • Determine whether opportunities exist to expand and enhance the U.S. manufacturing base or to otherwise increase the domestic content of CdTe PV systems
    • Identify technology transfer opportunities and conduct feasibility analysis of new technologies.

The CdTe Accelerator program will allow NREL to act as a resource and support structure for the consortium leadership institutions, including but not limited to the following activities:

  • Identify the consortium leadership through an initial solicitation
    • Competitively select a team of companies and research institutions with strong technology development, transfer, and validation capabilities that can impact the domestic CdTe manufacturing base
  • Support the solicitation and launch of new projects
    • Administer additional solicitations on behalf of the consortium to meet the targets set by its technology road map.
  • Conduct internal research and analysis in support of the consortium
    • Conduct applied research to support the goals of the consortium
    • Perform strategic analysis of the U.S. supply chain
    • Act as a business development resource and stakeholder outreach network to augment consortium activities.

About Cadmium Telluride Solar Cells

CdTe solar cells are the second most common PV technology in the world, second only to crystalline silicon. CdTe thin-film solar cells can be manufactured quickly and inexpensively, providing a lower-cost alternative to conventional silicon-based technologies.

While CdTe efficiency rates have risen significantly and costs have continued to decline, there is still progress that can be made in ensuring U.S. leadership in this innovative technology.


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