Congressman Swalwell Lauds Public-Private Partnership between Sandia National Laboratories and Cool Earth Solar

February 20, 2013
Press Release

LIVERMORE, CA – Congressman Eric Swalwell (CA-15) today attended the announcement of the public-private partnership between Sandia National Laboratories and Livermore-based solar energy company Cool Earth Solar, both located within Swalwell’s district. The five-year agreement will pioneer the company’s unique solar energy technology at Sandia’s Livermore Valley Open Campus, which brings academia and business together with researchers from the national laboratories to work on today’s biggest science and engineering problems. Swalwell serves as the Ranking Member on the Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Energy.

Sandia researchers with the Laboratory’s Solar Energy Program will test and help bring to market Cool Earth Solar’s innovative technology, which uses cheaper and fewer materials to capture solar energy so it is more affordable and accessible to the public. Their equipment uses less than half the materials in terms of weight and mass to capture the same amount of solar energy as more traditional solar equipment, and an inexpensive thin-film plastic as the core material for its equipment to reduce cost.

“I’m proud to join Sandia and Cool Earth Solar to celebrate their first-ever public-private partnership,” said Swalwell. “This collaboration is a perfect example of how the government and private sector can work together to help us lead  the world in the search for better, safer, more affordable energy and in turn, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and grow our national economy.”

"Sandia's partnership with Cool Earth Solar shows that the labs are looking for new ways of doing business and collaborating with external entities," said Andy McIlroy, Sandia's senior manager for the open campus site's development efforts. "It demonstrates that we're open to win-win opportunities that meet our national security mission and, at the same time, help our partners to move forward with technology that makes the world a better place."

Congressman Swalwell was joined at the event by Dr. Steve Rottler, Vice President of Sandia’s Science and Technology Research Foundations Division, Rob Lamkin, CEO of Cool Earth Solar, Kish Rajan, Director of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development and Livermore Mayor John Marchand.

“We can’t drill our way out of our energy problems, we need to innovate our way out. The renewable energy research performed at the Livermore Valley Open Campus is a step forward towards enabling us to meet our energy needs while being responsible stewards of our planet.” added Swalwell.