2 October 2002 – Evergreen Solar, Inc. announced Monday that it had won a $3m funding award from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to complete a research and development programme under the Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology programme, aimed at reducing String Ribbon solar module manufacturing costs.

The three-year cost shared agreement, which renews annually, will help continue the development of Evergreen’s String Ribbon manufacturing technology into an advanced process that is virtually continuous, thereby reducing manufacturing costs. In addition, the programme will further Evergreen’s development of its innovative back contact solar cell and its polymer frameless module technology. Over the expected three years of the contract, NREL will fund $3m of the $6m project and Evergreen Solar will fund the remaining $3m.

“This contract will support some of our core R&D and manufacturing initiatives over the next three years. We are particularly excited about the potential of these programmes to significantly reduce our manufacturing costs while we develop an innovative product platform,” commented Mark Farber, President and CEO of Evergreen Solar.

“This contract will support our advanced and proprietary cell and module fabrication technologies,” continued Farber. “We believe the polymer frameless module technology that we will be developing in this contract will have particular advantages in the rapidly growing building integrated solar market.”