DOE to focus on early-stage research to improve the affordability, flexibility, and performance of solar energy technologies on the grid

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced up to $105.5 million to support America’s solar technology.  This will support the. continued leadership in energy innovation through solar technology. This will be under the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). DOE will fund about 70 projects to advance both solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) technologies.  In addition, this’ll help the secure integration of those technologies on the nation’s electricity grid. Funding also supports educating the workforce.  Then we can be ready for the solar industry’s future needs.

solar panels


“American ingenuity is the engine of our energy economy,” said Secretary Perry. “Investing in all of our abundant energy sources, including solar energy technologies, helps drive down costs.  It’s also to make sure that the nation leads the world in energy production and innovation.”

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will further the Administration’s goals to drive economic and technological leadership in solar energy. This’ll be supporting pioneering research that improves energy choice and affordability. These research projects will address the earliest stages of technology development. They will in addition enable significant improvements to the current fleet of solar technologies. This will also and more importantly keep up U.S. leadership in solar energy.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry Announces $105 Million in New Funding to Advance Solar Technologies

The 2018 SETO FOA will combine all of SETO’s technology areas into one ask. By creating a more streamlined and consolidated funding strategy, DOE seeks to accelerate the cycles of learning in solar research and cut government overhead costs.

The funding program will focus on four main areas:

TOPIC 1: Advanced Solar Systems Integration Technologies (up to $46 million, ~14 projects)

First off, These projects will advance research on technologies that enable the seamless integration of solar energy to the nation’s electricity grid. ThereBy supporting advances in power electronics. As well as solar plus storage, and PV-integrated sensor technologies. This work will help make sure a smooth transition. An energy transition that is secure, reliable, and resilient grid of the future.

TOPIC 2: Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Research and Development (up to $24 million, ~21 projects)

These projects pursue innovative CSP concepts and technology solutions that enable the solar industry to reach DOE’s 2030 levelled cost of electricity (LCOE) targets for CSP, including $0.05 per kilowatt-hour for systems with greater than 12 hours of on site storage. Research in CSP will focus on advancing elements found in CSP subsystems, including collectors and thermal transport systems for advanced power cycles, while pursuing new methods for introducing innovation to CSP research.

TOPIC 3: Photovoltaics Research and Development (up to $27 million, ~28 projects)

These projects support early-stage research to increase performance, cut materials and processing costs, and improve reliability of PV cells, modules, and systems. These projects support DOE’s efforts to lower LCOE to $0.03 per kilowatt-hour from utility-scale systems by 2030, which is half the cost of utility-scale solar today.

TOPIC 4: Improving and Expanding the Solar Industry through Workforce Initiatives (up to $8.5 million, ~4 projects)

·         These projects will pursue innovative initiatives that prepare the solar industry for a digital future while also increasing the number of veterans and participants in the solar industry.

Within each of the technology areas, DOE will fund projects that develop and test new ways to accelerate integrating emerging technologies into the solar industry value chain and expand private sector engagement supporting energy innovation, especially those related to financing and commercialization.

Sign up HERE to learn more about this funding opportunity at an upcoming webinar.

For more information on the Solar Energy Technologies Office, visit their website HERE.

Source: US Department of Energy

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