Swiss chemist to receive Conn Prize at U of L

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The University of Louisville has announced the first recipient of a $50,000 prize for renewable energy.

The Leigh Ann Conn Prize is being awarded to Swiss chemist Michael Graetzel, the developer of the dye-sensitized solar cell. U of L says the cell is easier and less costly to produce than silicon-based cells.

Mass production of the cells began in 2009.

Graetzel will speak next spring in Louisville about his work and receive the Conn Prize medal and the award.

U of L's Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research manages the prize, which recognizes outstanding renewable energy ideas and achievements. The prize is named for the late daughter of Hank and Rebecca Conn, supporters of the center and the prize benefactors.