GE, PrimeStar Solar Team Up to Focus R&D Efforts on Thin Film PV

General Electric is focusing its considerable R&D might on building the most efficient solar modules on the market and it is working with startup PrimeStar Solar Inc., on thin film photovoltaic technology.

The cadmium telluride solar cells are being developed at the Arvada, Colo.-headquarters of PrimeStar, which is majority owned by GE.

GreenTech’s Martin LaMonica that the move represents a major shift for GE, which has used traditional silicon for its cells, into technology that is dominated by First Solar.

GE’s solar R&D leader Danielle Merfeld tells LaMonica that the cadmium telluride cells, while less efficient at producing electricity than crystalline silicon, have the most potential for cost savings.

GE plans to role out a product in 2011.

In a news release from GE, Merfeld said

After having completed an exhaustive survey of the PV landscape, we determined that thin films were the optimum path for GE.

GE has been putting a full court press on the technology, working on the product in Germany, China, India and at the Niskayuna, N.Y. facilitiy, as well as in Arvada.

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