April 18, 2011
By: by Haley Viccccaro, Albany Student Press
The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at the University at Albany was awarded a a multimillion dollar federal grant last week.
The grant, totaling $57.5 million, came from the US Department of Energy to create a solar manufacturing consortium.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, urged the Obama Administration to award the NanoCollege and the University of Central Florida a $100 million grant split between the two schools. As a result, the college was awarded $50 million more than expected and will be teaming up with the Sematech computer chip consortium.
Along with the University of Central Florida, over 80 companies, universities and laboratories are partnering to provide the further advance of the photovoltaic manufacturing industry. The prospects of the solar consortium are to help the US to better compete with China and Germany, streamline their introductions into the global market and increase US shares in the market.
"This investment by Department of Energy, along with investments made by New York state, will infuse critical capital that, coupled with the pioneering model established by CNSE, will position New York and the U.S. as world leaders in 21st century photovoltaic technologies," CNSE Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros said in a statement.
Kaloyeros is the highest paid public employee in New York.
The funding and partnership can lead to the massive increase of jobs over the next decade in photovoltaic technology and products market, officials said.
Photovoltaic technology converts solar energy to produce energy forms and clean power to provide a more reliable source of renewable solar energy by absorbing solar photons and converting them to usable energy forms.
"The photovoltaic manufacturing consortium has unlimited potential when it comes to advancing our technological capabilities, increasing our competitiveness abroad, and most importantly - creating jobs for middle-class families in the Capital Region," Schumer said in a press release. "Similar to the huge successes we've seen in the chip-fab industry, I am sure this award will electrify our economy in Upstate New York, and make the Capital Region a hub for photovoltaic research and clean energy."
UAlbany's College of Nanoscale Science is geared toward the education of nanotechnology, research and development and the deployment of technology. The college also works with outside companies to create new technologies and introduce them into the marketplace. The college is also the first institution ever to issue a Ph.D. in nanoscience.
"The future is very bright for solar energy research, development and jobs in Albany," said Schumer in a statement.