This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Astropower Successfully Tests its Solar-Grade Silicon Production Process
AstroPower, Inc. announced last week that the initial tests of its proprietary purification process to produce solar-grade silicon were successful. The company has entered into a joint development agreement with Elkem to convert quartz into silicon, providing a dedicated source of silicon at the purity level needed for the production of solar cells. The process should help relieve the solar cell industry of its reliance on scrap silicon from the semiconductor industry, which has constrained the growth of the industry. AstroPower expects the new process to reach full industrial scale in 2005. See the AstroPower press release.