WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu issued the following statement on today's announcement by Universal Display Corporation (UDC) that the company has selected Canandaigua, New York for the site of a new clean energy facility to manufacture next generation lighting technologies.
"This is another example of how Recovery Act investments are creating jobs and building new industries here in the U.S. Today's announcement puts Upstate New York at the forefront of clean energy manufacturing. This region will be on the cutting edge of a growing industry producing the next generation of highly efficient lighting for consumers around the world," said Secretary Chu.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON TODAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT
The Department of Energy awarded UDC a $4 million grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to bring its innovative lighting technologies to pilot manufacturing scale. The Recovery Act funding for the project leveraged investments from UDC, its manufacturing partner Moser-Baer Technologies, New York's Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center, and municipal tax credits, to support a total investment of more than $17.5 million. At pilot scale, the facility will employ nearly 60 full-time employees in Upstate New York.
Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center will be the site for the nation's first pilot manufacturing line for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), a next generation lighting technology with the potential to significantly reduce energy use in commercial and residential buildings.
OLEDs are based on organic (carbon-based) materials. In contrast to light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which are small point sources, OLEDs are made in sheets and panels, which provide a light source spread out over a broader area. OLED technology is developing rapidly and is increasingly used in display applications such as cell phones and PDA screens. OLED and LED technologies are up to ten times more efficient than conventional incandescent lights. When widely adopted, LEDs and OLEDs have the potential to reduce lighting energy use by 25 percent by 2030, which is equivalent to saving $15 billion every year.
The facility in Canandaigua, New York will allow for pilot-scale testing and evaluation of new manufacturing processes to help commercialize OLED technology over the long term. This project will facilitate the growth of the emerging OLED lighting industry by providing prototype materials to U.S. makers of lighting fixtures to incorporate into products, facilitate testing of design, and gauge customer acceptance.
DOE has supported UDC's OLED technologies since 2002, when UDC received its first DOE Small Business Innovation Research award. UDC has been recognized by DOE for technical R&D achievements for its work on white OLED lighting four times since 2006.
The Recovery Act is investing $46 million in next generation lighting development - including $23.5 million to support eight LED and OLED manufacturing facilities in the United States. The funding for manufacturing is being matched by the private sector for a total investment of more than $47 million in U.S. clean energy manufacturing.
The Department of Energy is also continuing to work with partners in industry, academia and the National Laboratories to accelerate the commercialization and deployment of this next generation of lighting technologies. This includes research projects that are helping to improve performance, develop effective manufacturing processes, and reduce costs. For more information on energy efficient lighting, visit the Energy Saver's Lighting & Daylighting Section.