Holographic Solar One Step Closer to Reality


Last April, we took at look at the holographic solar module, a technology that could cut the amount of silicon needed for, and thus the price of, solar power generation. Start-up Prism Solar Technologies, which developed the module, has sent a letter of intent to Smart Growth Advocates on behalf of the city of Pueblo, Colorado, to locate its headquarters, research and development operations, and manufacturing there. If finalized (the company and city are still discussing incentives), the company's operations would create up to 300 new manufacturing jobs with an average wage of $22 an hour. Pueblo's attractions for the company include the city's desire to become "the renewable energy capital of Colorado," and its close proximity to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden. According to The Pueblo Chieftain:

"That's a big draw for us," [Prism CEO Rick] Lewandowski said of the relatively short distance the Golden laboratory is from Pueblo. "We think that with the new technology we're developing as it relates to photovoltaics, (that it) is going to require a lot of interaction with the national laboratories to create an ongoing effort in this type technology." ...

He anticipates that the company will start manufacturing at least the module components here in late 2007. He said the optics and holographic components might be manufactured elsewhere.

This is good news on several fronts, and not just for workers in Pueblo. The holographic solar module could, theoretically, bring the price of solar power within range of traditional sources, so it's exciting to hear that this promising technology is one step closer to commercial development. Also, we've got another bit of evidence that solar production could provide a boost for the US manufacturing sector. In addition to its negotiations with Pueblo, Prism is also involved in soliciting a second round of financing, so we'll have to wait and see how this one proceeds. ::Smart Growth Advocates and The Pueblo Chieftain Online

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