Three local companies have received a total of $6 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop technologies that would reduce the cost of solar energy production by as much as 75 percent by 2020.
Most of the money, $4 million, will go to Crystal Solar of Santa Clara, which now has annual revenues of $1,4 million and under 20 employees. The funding will be used to develop new ways to handle the thin wafers that convert the sun’s rays to energy.
Two San Jose companies, Solexant and Stion, will receive $1 million each. Solexant’s website states that it develops, “third generation thin film PV technologies which dramatically increase solar cell efficiency and reduce manufacturing costs.” Funding there will be used to develop a new film coating for the solar wafers from non-toxic sources. Stion says that it employs, “high-yield production processes to manufacture high-efficiency thin film solar panels.” It will use its funding to develop new thin film technology to absorb more light and increase energy output.