April 11, 2011
By: by Danny Vo, Cooler Planet
As part of its efforts to construct a huge solar manufacturing center, the University of Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering has sought hundreds of millions of dollars in private and government grants.
The school's plan is to complete the manufacturing center by 2014, and in doing so create thousands of jobs in New York's capital district, according to a report from the Associated Press. The funding for the new facility came largely from private companies and organizations, 80 of which combined to contribute $275 million in financing. The U.S. Department of Energy issued a grant worth $57.5 million, and Charles Schumer, one of the state's U.S. Senators, is seeking an additional $100 million grant.
When completed, the facility will be used to research and produce new solar panel technology that converts sunlight into electricity more efficiently, the report said. Currently, production of these panels comes largely from Chinese and German companies.
State and federal governments are investing in solar power production with greater frequency in an effort to cut dependence on electricity generated by non-renewable fuels such as coal and oil.