For Immediate Release: April 8, 2011
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Awards $500,000 for New Lighting Research

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission awarded $500,000 for a research project to develop a more cost-effective way to manufacture light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Funding comes from the Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program.

On Wednesday, the Commission approved $500,000 to Applied Materials, Inc. of Santa Clara to develop an improved and more cost-effective way to manufacture LEDs.

The project's total cost is $8,718, 911. Applied Materials is providing $4,225,000. The company received a $3,993,911 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act award from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The project is working to reduce the costs of LEDs through improvements in manufacturing equipment and processes. The key manufacturing step is the metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) process, which is the chemical process used to produce high-performance semiconductor products such as LEDs.

Improving the manufacturing process will decrease operating costs, increase LED efficiency, and reduce manufacturing waste since more LEDs will meet target specifications. Improving manufacturing efficiency means higher quality LEDs would be fabricated at lower cost, helping to broaden the adoption of LEDs in the marketplace.

Applied Materials, an innovative Silicon Valley company since 1967, provides equipment, services and software to enable the manufacture of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products. The project is scheduled to be completed by July 2012. The company expects the project to create 1,600 jobs in California by 2015.


The Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program supports public interest research and development that helps improve the quality of life in California by bringing environmentally safe, reliable, and affordable energy services and products to the marketplace. For more information, visit

Created by the California Legislature in 1974, the California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The Energy Commission has five major responsibilities: forecasting future energy needs and keeping historical energy data; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency through appliance and building standards; developing energy technologies and supporting renewable energy; and planning for and directing state response to energy emergency.

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