St. Peters-based MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. received a bit of good news earlier this week.
On Tuesay the solar energy developer, the second-largest U.S. polysilicon maker, received $3.68 million in federal funding from the Department of Energy.
MEMC was one of 13 projects to receive funding as part of announcement by the administration of President Barack Obama. To increase energy efficiency in the private sector, the administration announced it would invest $54 million in new research partnerships.
“The projects announced today will improve the competitive position of U.S. industry and help manufacturers produce more while saving energy, saving money and protecting our air and water,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement.
MEMC's money will be geared toward the development of high-quality, low-cost bulk gallium nitride Substrates grown by the Electrochemical Solution Growth.
"This project will enable more efficient manufacturing of gallium nitride (GaN) which could reduce the cost of and improve the output for light emitting diodes, solid state lighting, laser displays, and other power electronics. Use of GaN—a semi-conductor material—holds the potential to reduce lighting energy use by 75 percent, electric drive motor energy use for consumer applications by 50 percent, electric motor energy used for transportation by 60 percent, and energy for information technology infrastructure power delivery by 20p percent."
The news comes just days after MEMC saw its credit downgraded.
MEMC is located at 501 Pearl Drive in .