Durham semiconductor maker Semprius qualified today for $3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to speed up development of its next-generation solar energy technology.
Semprius is the only North Carolina out of four nationwide that qualified for $12 million in stimulus funds and federal grants announced today. The money will be awarded in stages over 18 months upon completion of project milestones.
The five-year-old company is developing a technology that concentrates solar rays by means of smaller semiconductors and special lenses. By concentrating solar rays by a factor of 1000, Semprius is attempting to reduce the area -- and cost -- of the solar photovoltaic cells required to generate electricity.
Semprius employs 28 people and has received nearly $20 million in venture capital and other investments.