GE Receives Federal Grant for Solar Energy Research

March 20, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

General Electric announced that that it has received an $8.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy that will enable the company to speed up its solar energy research program. The grant is part of President Bush’s Solar America Initiative. Government officials visited GE’s solar manufacturing facility in Delaware to discuss the future of solar energy in the United States.

According to the DOE, the funding for the first year of GE’s project is expected to be roughly $8,100,000, with approximately $18,600,000 available over three years if the GE-led team meets its goals. GE Energy will be heading an alliance of companies, universities and researchers that are collaborating to accelerate the large-scale commercialization of solar technology into products that are cost competitive with retail electricity rates without the need for government assistance. The GE-led team’s commercialization strategy focuses on residential and commercial buildings that currently consume more than 60% of the electricity generated in the United States. By 2010, GE and its team will be positioned to deliver more than 200MW of easily installed, GE-branded solar electric products and Brilliance systems into the U.S. residential and commercial markets.

Research will take place at both GE Energy’s facility in Newark, Delaware and at the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, New York. GE’s alliance includes Renewable Energy Corp., Solaicx, Xantrex Technology Inc., the University of Delaware’s Institute of Energy Conversion, Georgia Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.