Science Foundation Arizona Awards $1 Million for Solar Energy Project

The Phoenix-based Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) has announced $1 million in funding for a project that aims to make large-scale solar electricity generation cost-effective.

Pioneered by University of Arizona researcher Roger Angel, the project uses principals of optics and large telescope design in an innovative way to produce electricity from the sun. The innovation has the potential to elevate Arizona's standing as a major player in sustainable industries and to create thousands of "green" jobs in the state.

Funding from SFAz will be used to complete research into maximizing the efficiency of the energy telescope. Matching funds for the project will come from REhnu, LLC, which was founded by Angel with an exclusive license from the university to bring the technology to market.

"I am delighted that SFAz will fund Roger Angel to continue the development of his novel method for capturing sunlight and converting it to electricity more efficiently — and more inexpensively — than has so far been possible using more conventional technologies," said Leslie Tolbert, vice president of research, graduate studies, and economic development at UA. "Roger has a very impressive history of innovation and creativity that suggests that he can make the sorts of breakthroughs that are needed to make solar energy economical."

"Science Foundation Arizona Directs $1 Million to Solar Energy Research." Science Foundation Arizona Press Release 12/20/2010.