BIPV window coating maker seeks DOE loan guarantee


Ubiquitous Energy, a building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) commercial windows manufacturer, has been invited to submit Part II of its application to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program.  The Redwood City, Calif.-based company is seeking to raise just over $100 million in loans to support the development of the company’s U.S. solar window manufacturing facility, while creating hundreds of jobs in the process, a company spokeswoman told pv magazine USA.

The Title XVII loan program provides capital support for decarbonization technologies nearing commercialization. To date the DOE reports that its Loan Programs Office has provided more than $25 billion in loan guarantees and currently has approximately $62 billion in available funds to accelerate the energy transition.

“This opportunity will allow us to accelerate the commercialization of our innovative transparent solar technology and bring it to market faster,” said Susan Stone, chief executive officer of Ubiquitous. “We look forward to working with the DOE to continue driving the transition to a clean energy economy

According to Architecture 2030, with commercial buildings generating 40% of global CO2 emissions per year and the global building floor area expected to double by 2060 based on urbanization trends, there is an urgent need for zero-emissions energy sources across new buildings. Architecture 2030 is a non-profit organization whose mission is to transform the built environment into a “central solution to the climate crisis”.

Meanwhile, financial incentives and job creation opportunities enabled by the Inflation Reduction Act further enhance the DOE’s investment in commercially viable renewable energy solutions.

Ubiquitous Energy said its technology is the only patented transparent photovoltaic glass coating that produces energy, while retaining the same look as a traditional window.

The transparent solar coating is made from light-absorbing dyes, sourced from non-toxic, earth-abundant materials, similar to the pigments found in fabrics and paints. This allows Ubiquitous Energy to integrate power generation into windows and the surfaces of everyday objects.

Image: Ubiquitous Energy

In August 2022, Ubiquitous Energy partnered with one of the largest window manufacturers, Anderson Corporation, to jointly develop clean energy generating window and door products using Ubiquitous’ UE Energy technology, which generates clean energy through photovoltaic window glass. Anderson also led a January 2022 strategic VC investment in the company as part of a $30 million Series B round closing that also saw participation from ENEOS, Safar Partners, Hostplus, Red Cedar Ventures, and Riverhouse Investments.

Over 20 billion square feet of windows are installed each year, creating an opening for the company to integrate its technology. Over the last year, the company installed transparent solar windows at a Nippon Sheet Glass manufacturing center in Northwood, Ohio, a commercial office building in Boulder, Colorado, and campus buildings at Michigan State University.

Windowed skyscrapers often have to spend a lot on cooling the building as large amounts of light and heat shine through. Solar windows not only provide thermal insulation for a building, but also use the absorbed energy to generate electricity. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that glazed skyscrapers can reduce energy usage and carbon emissions by 40% using PV windows.

Other recent DOE loan applicants for advanced energy projects or production facilities include:

  • Nostromo Energy, in January 2023 the company received notice to proceed with a $189 million loan application to develop its patented 275 MWh IceBrick technology;
  • Eos Energy Enterprises, which provides zinc-based grid energy storage product, said in its Q4 2022 earnings report that it continues to progress through the due diligence process with LPO and remains in active negotiations on a term sheet for its potential Title XVII loan.
  • Advanced Clean Energy Storage, developer of a green hydrogen storage facility in Utah that received a $504.4 million loan guarantee, the first recipient of an LPO-generated energy loan guarantee in more than a decade.

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