Over the next five years, the US Department of Energy is investing up to $30 million on developing new modules and materials to lower the cost of solar power via their SunShot Initiative. The new partnership between the DoE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is called the Durable Module Materials (DuraMat) National Lab Consortium. It is the latest consortium created as part of the DoE’s Energy Materials Network, providing support to US clean energy manufacturers and entrepreneurs.
The primary goal of DuraMat is to reduce the cost of solar energy. The consortium proposes to achieve this goal by developing new module technologies to make producing solar energy more cost-effective, fostering collaboration among professionals, academics and US labs to create and test the modules, and bringing the most promising materials and technologies to market without delay. It will provide the solar industry access to national DoE labs’ knowledge and research.
“DuraMat provides easily accessible capabilities that bring the national lab and university research infrastructure together with the PV (photovoltaic) and supply-chain industries,” Teresa Barnes, director for DuraMat, said of the consortium.