April 06, 2011

Feds Award $58M Grant For NY High Tech Site

By: by The Wall Street Journal


ALBANY, N.Y. - A high-tech project involving the state University at Albany and the University of Central Florida is getting a nearly $58 million federal grant.

The grant could help create thousands of jobs in creating a national center in solar energy research.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York says most of the grant will go to the public-private partnership between the SEMATECH (sem-uh-tek) company and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the Albany university center.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the federal government will provide up to $112.5 million over five years throughout the country. Chu said the objective is for the U.S. to regain the lead in the global market for solar technologies.

Schumer said the grant will massively increase the nation's share of the solar energy research market. The Albany-based consortium already has commitments totaling $400 million from New York state and corporations for photovoltaic technology that converts sunlight into power.

Schumer said the grant will help the Albany area become a hub for research and clean energy in the photovoltaic manufacturing market now dominated by China and Germany.

"The future is very bright for solar energy research, development and jobs in Albany," Schumer said. "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."

Schumer had sought a $100 million grant. The market is dominated by China and Germany.