Nanotech Partnership Announced In Ulster County, NY

On August 29, 2012, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the U.S. Photovoltaic Consortium (PVMC) and Ceres Technologies, a Hudson Valley-based nanotechnology manufacturer, launched a $20 million partnership in which Ceres will become one of the first official suppliers of manufacturing equipment to the PVMC. The PVMC is headquartered at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s (CNSE) Albany NanoTech Complex.

Through this collaboration, Ceres projects that more than 250 green energy jobs will be created over the next five years, including research and development (R&D) jobs and facilities and manufacturing jobs (including electrical and mechanical, software, drafting, design engineers, and trades) at its facility and supply chain in Saugerties and Kingston, as well as at CNSE in Albany. To assist this partnership, $764,000 in Excelsior Tax Credits have been awarded to Ceres by Empire State Development through the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council.

The PVMC is a $400 million consortium for cooperative R&D among industry, university, and government partners to accelerate the development, commercialization, and manufacturing of next-generation solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Through access to world-class programs, talent, and advanced manufacturing development facilities at CNSE and SEMATECH, PVMC is a proving ground for innovative solar technologies and manufacturing processes.

“This new public-private partnership shows how government is working with the private sector to invest in our state and grow our economy,” Cuomo said.

Ceres Technologies President and CEO Kevin Brady added, “Ceres Technologies is thrilled to work in collaboration with the CNSE to provide advanced solar energy tools and equipment to the PVMC.”

Doug Hall, PV Manufacturing Initiative Portfolio Manager for the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, said, “These advanced manufacturing tools will enable PVMC to lead the US CIGS module and supply chain community in making critical improvements in the efficiency and cost of next-generation solar technology. These advances driven by PVMC will play an important role in ensuring national competitiveness amid the fast-growing worldwide solar industry.”

Ceres will join PVMC as a core member and serve as a key partner in establishing an advanced manufacturing development facility at CNSE to enable rapid prototyping of innovative solar devices. In so doing, PVMC is leading the national effort to reduce the cost of installed solar energy systems from $5 per watt to less than $1 per watt over the next10 years.

Ceres will provide to PVMC two vacuum thin-film deposition tools that are critical for manufacturing advanced solar cell devices on flexible substrates using copper indium gallium selenide, known as CIGS-based PV technologies. These CIGS-based solar cells represent the next generation of solar photovoltaics, offering improved performance at a reduced cost to manufacture and install.

A video of this announcement is available here: