Cadmium Telluride Photovoltaics Accelerator

Awardee: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Location: Golden, CO
Subprogram: Photovoltaics
Award Amount: $20,000,000

The Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) Photovoltaics (PV) Accelerator program is intended to enhance U.S. technology leadership and competitiveness in CdTe PV. By 2030, the program aims to increase domestic CdTe PV material and module production, achieve cell efficiencies above 26%, and decrease module costs to below $0.15/watt.

The CdTe PV Accelerator program was announced by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) on March 25, 2021. NREL released a competitive solicitation on June 7, 2021, to select leadership for the CdTe technology development consortium. DOE launched the CdTe Accelerator Consortium and announced its leadership on August 1, 2022. 

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The consortium formed through the CdTe PV Accelerator program will consist of NREL as the consortium coordinator and a competitively selected consortium leadership team that will direct consortium activities and research priorities. The consortium will solicit additional research and development projects as needed to meet its technology goals and performance targets.

Once selected, the consortium leadership is expected to conduct the following activities:

  • Develop a CdTe technology roadmap:
    • Create and annually update a technology roadmap to maintain continued U.S. technology leadership in CdTe PV
    • Conduct stakeholder engagement activities when developing and updating the roadmap
  • Conduct research projects and programs:
    • Develop and launch research projects within consortium leadership institutions and in collaboration with other institutions to meet the targets set within the technology roadmap
  • Assess the domestic CdTe supply chain:
    • Regularly assess the state of the U.S. CdTe manufacturing supply chain and identify any critical material or capacity constraints
    • Determine whether opportunities exist to expand and enhance the U.S. manufacturing base or to otherwise increase the domestic content of CdTe PV systems
    • Identify technology transfer opportunities and conduct feasibility analysis of new technologies

Through the CdTe PV Accelerator program, NREL will act as a resource and support structure for the consortium leadership institutions, including but not limited to the following activities:

  • Identify and support the consortium leadership:
    • Competitively select companies with strong technology development, transfer, and validation capabilities that can impact the domestic CdTe manufacturing base
    • Act as a business development resource and stakeholder outreach network to augment consortium activities
  • Support the solicitation and launch of new projects:
    • Administer additional solicitations on behalf of the consortium to meet the targets set by the technology roadmap
  • Conduct internal research and analysis:
    • Conduct applied research and strategic analysis of the U.S. supply chain to support the goals of the consortium

Additional Information

Learn more from the NREL website.

Download the consortium leadership solicitation and apply by July 19, 2021, 6 p.m. ET.

Learn more about SETO’s national laboratory research and funding.

Read more about CdTe research at SETO and CdTe research at NREL.

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