United Solar Ovonic gets DOE contract to reduce solar power costs

The Department of Energy has awarded a three deal to United Solar Ovonic to share costs and cooperate on low-cost photovoltaic solar systems that can be integrated into building construction. The biggest flaw of photovoltaics right now is cost vs efficiency ratio. Because of the cost of such systems, it takes most people a long time to save enough on energy costs to cover the expense. United Solar Ovonic will get $4.6 million in government funding during the first year. If the project milestones are met by Ovonic, the DOE will provide almost $15 million in extra funds over the following two years.
The project is part of the DOE's Solar America Initiative (SAI) which is intended to reduce the cost of both components and installation of solar systems with a target of $.10-.15/kWh. United Solar Ovonic currently produces a line of lightweight, flexible solar systems under the UNI-SOLAR brand.

[Source: United Solar Ovonic]

United Solar Ovonic Awarded Multi-Year Cooperative Agreement by the U.S. Department of Energy to Accelerate Reduction in Cost of Solar Electricity

The award will fund development of building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems to significantly reduce the cost of solar electricity

Auburn Hills, Mich., Aug 6, 2007 – United Solar Ovonic LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENER), announced today that it has been awarded a cost-shared, three-year cooperative agreement by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the development of low-cost building-integrated photovoltaic systems. Under the cooperative agreement, United Solar Ovonic is expected to receive $4.6 million in federal funding through the completion of its first project budget period, which will be implemented through June 2008. Upon successful completion of key project milestones and sustained execution of a viable business strategy, as much as $14.74 Million in additional DOE funding will be made available for continued implementation of the project through June 2010. The total potential funding from the DOE under the Solar America Initiative (SAI) is up to $19.34 million for this three-year project, subject to availability of funds appropriated by the U.S. Congress.

On March 8, 2007, while visiting United Solar Ovonic, DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner had announced the selection of 13 solar energy projects to be negotiated for funding by the DOE, which included the award to United Solar Ovonic.

"We are honored to be selected by the DOE for this award which will accelerate our drive to reduce the cost of solar electricity," said Subhendu Guha, President and Chief Operating Officer of United Solar Ovonic. "Our lightweight, flexible solar panels are ideal for building integration, and we look forward to taking part in the SAI program aimed at reducing the cost of solar electricity to 10 -15 c/kWh by 2010."

United Solar Ovonic has assembled a team of experts from academia, the national laboratories and industry to participate in this program to meet electricity cost goals set under the SAI program. SAI is aimed at reducing the cost of the modules, the balance of system components including inverters, and system installation and integration.

Unlike traditional crystalline technology, which typically uses heavy glass panels, UNI-SOLAR® products are flexible, durable, lightweight, and easy to install. Because of these characteristics, UNI-SOLAR® triple-junction products offer the ideal solution for both grid-connected and off-grid solar electric systems. Independent studies in Europe and elsewhere have shown that triple-junction products deliver more electricity per rated power than the conventional crystalline products.

About Energy Conversion Devices

Energy Conversion Devices is the leader in the synthesis of new materials and the development of advanced production technology and innovative alternative energy products and solutions. The company's portfolio of alternative energy solutions and proprietary information processing technologies features the latest advances in solar electric power generation, NiMH batteries, and fuel cell, solid hydride storage and phase-change memory technologies. ECD designs and builds manufacturing machinery that incorporates its proprietary production processes, maintains ongoing research and development programs to continually improve its products and develops new applications for its technologies. ECD holds the basic patents in its fields. More information on the Company is available at www.ovonic.com.

About United Solar Ovonic

United Solar Ovonic, building on technology invented and pioneered by ECD, is the world leader in thin-film amorphous photovoltaics. Because of characteristics unique to the United Solar Ovonic solar cell technology, such as lightweight, ruggedness and flexibility, it is ideal as building-integrated photovoltaic roofing systems for residential and industrial customers. ECD and United Solar Ovonic hold the basic patents covering the continuous roll-to-roll manufacturing of thin-film amorphous-silicon alloy multi-junction solar cells and related products. More information is available at http://www.uni-solar.com.

About The Solar America Initiative (SAI)

The Solar America Initiative (SAI) is part of the President's Advanced Energy Initiative, and its goal is to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity by 2015. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is leading the SAI effort to accelerate the development of cost-effective solar energy technologies that produce electricity and heat water. DOE will conduct cost-shared research with industry-led teams and form strategic partnerships with universities, federal and state governments, and other non-governmental agencies. More information is available at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/solar_america/.

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