WASHINGTON Four contractors were selected by a DoD research agency to develop solar electricity cells.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) said three companies and a research lab will compete to develop the technology. The solar project is overseen by Darpa's Microsystems Technology Office (Arlington, Va.).
Contractors are: Nanosolar Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.), which received a $10.3 million contract; Konarka Technologies Inc.(Lowell, Mass.), $6.1 million; Nanosys Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.), $2.3 million; and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden Colo.), which is part of the U.S. Energy Department.
Nanosolar develops roll-printed solar electricity cells. It is collaborating with Lawrence Berkeley and Sandia National laboratories on next-generation solar cells. Nanosys is using inorganic nanostructures to develop new solar energy sources. Konarka's nanomaterials technology absorbs sunlight and indoor light and converts it into electricity.
More than 100 companies competed for the Darpa contracts.