Spire Corp. (Bedford, MA) announced that it has been awarded a three-year, $5.2 million, cost-shared, research and development contract from the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) to develop automated manufacturing processes for fabricating large-scale solar-electric modules. NREL will fund one half of the cost-shared contract, or approximately $2.7 million, under the Photovoltaic Manufacturing Research and Development program, and $2.5 million will be spent by Spire.
Roger Little, president and CEO of Spire, said, "This contract will enable our Spire Solar business to raise its core machine building skills to the next level. The equipment and technology that we plan to develop under this program will enable the building of super-sized modules, each generating as much as 1kW. We believe these new modules can be used to cover contaminated land sites with large utility-connected arrays to generate clean energy. Our objective is to show that it can be economically feasible to transform industrial brownfields into Solar Brightfields™."