For Immediate Release: January 21, 2010
Media Contact: Susanne Garfield - 916-654-4989


California Companies Awarded $23 Million to Develop
Cutting-Edge Lighting, Solar

Sacramento - Eight California Silicon Valley companies have been awarded American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funding to help bring innovative new energy products to market.

"Once again, as our country works to promote energy efficiency and increase the commercial use of renewable energy, it turns to cutting-edge technology companies from California," said Karen Douglas, California Energy Commission Chairman. "These awards to lighting and solar energy innovators prove that California remains a powerful driving force in cutting energy, reducing carbon emissions, and developing the next generation of green technology."

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award five San Francisco Bay-area high-tech companies $13.7 million in grants to encourage breakthroughs in energy efficient lighting. Of the $35 million nationally in this ARRA award, more than a third of the stimulus funding went to California companies.

The goal for the program is to produce high-efficiency solid-state lighting products to replace today's incandescent bulbs. Solid-state lighting uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) that can be as much as ten times more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent lighting.

In addition to the awards for more efficient lighting, DOE also announced that California would receive up to $9 million for the Photovoltaic Incubator Program that will move new solar technologies out of the lab and into the marketplace. Three of the four companies selected are Californian and again in the San Francisco Bay area. The awardees are listed follow.

For the lighting awards, six federal grants go to five California companies in these project categories:


  • Cambrios (Sunnyvale) was awarded nearly $1.2 million for research into materials to be used in OLEDs to replace the rare and expensive element indium. With leveraged financing, the total project is valued at over $1.8 million.

Product Development

  • The Philips Lumileds Lighting Company, LLC (San Jose) was awarded more than $1.8 million to develop an LED lamp with a warm-white color range and an output that compares to a 75-watt incandescent lamp. Private industry cost sharing brings the total value of the project to nearly $2.3 million.

Domestic manufacturing support

  • Applied Materials, Inc. (Santa Clara) was awarded nearly $4 million to develop an advanced system for creating LEDs through epitaxy, a process that deposits a thin layer of crystal material over a single crystal base. Their multi-chamber process has the potential to decrease operating costs and boast production even as it increases the efficiency of LEDs. Leveraged financing will bring the total project value to over $8.7 million.
  • KLA-Tencor Corporation (Milpitas) was awarded nearly $3.5 million to develop an automated system that identifies and distinguishes harmful defects from benign defects for more efficient quality control. Total value of the project with leveraged funding is nearly $7 million.
  • Philips Lumileds Lighting Company, LLC (San Jose) will use a $1.9 million manufacturing grant to develop an epitaxial process that uses silicon to replace more expensive materials, achieving a 60 percent reduction in manufacturing costs for high- power LEDs. Private industry cost sharing brings the total value of this manufacturing award project to nearly $3.8 million.
  • Ultratech, Inc. (San Jose) was awarded approximately $1.3 million for its process using lithography to create LEDs more cheaply. Private industry contributions bring the total value of the project to more than $2.3 million.

The second award - the Photovoltaic Incubator Program - three California companies will take their prototype and pre-commercial PV technologies into the full-scale manufacturing stage:

  • Alta Devices, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA), working to bring an innovative high-efficiency, low-cost photovoltaic module to market by 2011.
  • Solar Junction Corp. (San Jose, CA), developing a process to manufacture very high efficiency, multi-junction solar cells that can lower the cost of concentrating PV (CPV) systems.
  • Tetra Sun (Saratoga, CA), developing high efficiency, low cost crystalline-silicon solar cells.

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