AstroPower Reports Successful Solar Silicon Test

June 13, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

AstroPower Inc. (Newark, DE) announced the initial success of its joint development program with Elkem Solar at establishing a proprietary purification process for solar-grade silicon, the raw material used to manufacture solar cells. Using an improved material supply specification over metallurgical-grade silicon, the process has produced commercial-quality solar cells as part of an ongoing testing and verification program. The companies plan to reach initial industrial-scale volumes by the end of 2003 or early 2004.

"Removing these raw material constraints will enable AstroPower, and eventually the solar power industry as a whole, to better meet the demand for solar power technology," said AstroPower President and CEO Allen Barnett. "With this new source of supply for raw material used to produce solar cells, AstroPower will have the silicon feedstock required to continue its rapid growth rate."