Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced today $5,395,000 through Sustainable Development Technology Canada for Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (MTI) to develop next-generation solar technology for hybrid vehicles.

The investment in MTI will be part of a $17.9 million initiative to develop this technology and brings together industry leaders such as ENEL Green Power and Lockheed Martin as well as Dalhousie University, the California Institute of Technology and Stanford University. The technology, called metaSOLAR, has the potential to lead to greener vehicle alternatives for Canadians. That will mean cleaner communities and a healthier environment.  

“Solar energy is a green alternative to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles. MTI’s technology captures more of the sun’s energy than other technologies currently on the market. I am thrilled this is being developed in our own backyard and will be used in hybrid solar-powered vehicles. It has the potential to create well-paying middle-class jobs in Dartmouth and equip Nova Scotians with the skills they need for a fast-growing, globally competitive economy based on clean technology,” said Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

MTI uses the latest achievements in optical science, metamaterials, semiconductors and nanofabrication. Its patented solar technology has been engineered to collect, trap and absorb solar light from all directions at wide angles, significantly improving efficiency, removing the need to track the sun.

"Today marks another milestone in the advancement of our solar technology and this investment allows us to accelerate and expand our research and development for the transportation industry. Transport accounts for about 19 per cent of global energy use and 23 per cent of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Transport energy use and CO2 emissions are projected to increase by nearly 50 per cent by 2030 and more than 80 per cent by 2050,” said George Palikaras, founder and CEO of MTI. “At MTI, our team is working to develop and commercialize a new product called metaSOLAR, which will be the first light-weight and high-efficiency silicon-based solar cell technology, suitable for the transport industry here in Canada and the globally.”

“MTI is on the leading edge of metamaterials and we are very excited to be working on this project with them. MTI’s platform technology has the potential to shrink the thickness of thick solar cells such as monocrystalline silicon, without losing any efficiency, using its lithographically printed nanostructures to about 70 per cent of their current size. At that thickness, typical cells would become around 10 per cent efficient and MTI’s technology is not only capable maintaining above 20 per cent efficiency but the entire solar cell would become flexible enough to bend and put on curved surfaces. This technology has the potential to take solar cell efficiency to a new level,” said Mark Brongersma, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University

Learn more about MTI’s solar technology.

October 12, 2017, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia