Silicon Solar Solutions Among Most Promising Cleantech Startups in the Cleantech Open 2010 Competition

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Breakthrough Polysilicon Technology Has Potential to Reduce Solar Cell Cost by 26%.

FAYETTEVILLE, AR–(Marketwire) – Silicon Solar Solutions, a research-based startup based in Arkansas, has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious Cleantech Open business competition. Silicon Solar Solutions will now go on to compete for the grand prize at the Cleantech Open National Awards Gala and Expo to be held in San Jose on November 17.

The company’s proprietary technology to crystallize amorphous silicon into large-grain polysilicon has applications in wafer-based and thin-film silicon devices. Demonstrating grain sizes 150 times larger than traditional processes, Silicon Solar Solutions’ technology eliminates processing steps and material, and has the potential to reduce the cost of silicon-based solar cells by $0.42 per watt.

In March of this year, 271 teams across five regions submitted entries and were selected to compete in the 2010 Cleantech Open. 81 of those teams made it to the semifinals, and Silicon Solar Solutions is the first company from Arkansas to be selected as a finalist. “Our judging process is very intensive and rigorous,” said Justin Kaster, regional director of the Cleantech Open’s North Central Region. “One of the most important criteria is investment potential. Silicon Solar Solutions demonstrated that their technology has excellent business potential and tremendous competitive advantage.”

Silicon Solar Solutions has received numerous accolades from the private and public sector, including the Grand Prize in the Energy Track at the 2010 Oakridge National Labs Venture Challenge. The company’s technology directly addresses five of the seven key areas identified by the Department of Energy in its Solar Technology Roadmap.

“Being selected as a Cleantech Open finalist is a tremendous honor,” said Douglas Hutchings, CEO of Silicon Solar Solutions. “Beyond the monetary aspect of the award, we value the coveted opportunity to present our venture to a large group of industry experts and motivated funding sources. Our team is really excited about participating in the Awards Gala and having the chance to emerge as the National winner.”

The 2010 Cleantech Open competition offers more than $1 million in total prizes and aims to create 100,000 green-collar jobs in America by the end of 2015 with its “100K Jobs Challenge.” Currently, 22 states participate in the Cleantech Open program, and over 30 states are expected to contribute companies to the program in 2011.

The Cleantech Open is made possible by the generous support provided by Global Partner: Chevron; Global Foundation Partner: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; National Sponsor: Autodesk; Multi-Regional Gold Sponsor: Wells Fargo. The California region is additionally supported by Platinum Sponsors: Pacific Gas & Electric and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati. The North Central and Rocky Mountain regions are additionally sponsored by Platinum Sponsor Faegre & Benson. The Pacific Northwest region is additionally sponsored by Platinum Sponsor Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Silicon Solar Solutions ( provides a low-cost method for manufacturing silicon-based solar cells and thin-film modules. The company’s proprietary process for creating large-grain polysilicon increases conversion efficiency while eliminating costly processing steps and minimizing labor requirements. The technologies developed by Silicon Solar Solutions utilize abundant, non-toxic materials that minimize negative environmental impact and are easily recyclable. The company’s goal is to enable competitive solar manufacturing regardless of geographic location.

The Cleantech Open is the world’s largest cleantech business competition. Its mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. The program provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships to turn ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Since 2006, through its one-of-a-kind annual business competition and mentorship program, the Cleantech Open has helped hundreds of clean technology startups bring their breakthrough ideas to fruition, helping alumni contestants raise over $280M and creating an estimated 2,000 green collar jobs. Energized by a network of more than 750 volunteers and sponsors, the Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America’s cleantech sector a thriving economic engine. Cleantech Open websiteblogFacebookLinkedInTwitter: @cleantechopen.

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