- The US Department of Energy (DoE), headed by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, has announced a new funding opportunity for solar energy technology research and development
- It is expected to be available for early-stage research into solar PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies, and their integration into the grid
- Out of 4 focus areas of the funding program, 28 projects will be eligible to receive up to $27 million for PV research and development
- Interested parties need to submit a letter of intent by May 4, 2018; the last date to submit applications for this funding round is June 26
The US federal government has announced plans to provide up to $105.5 million in funding for research and development of solar technologies. US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry stated that the Department of Energy (DOE) will fund some 70 projects under the DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO).
These projects will be related to PV and concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) technologies. The funding is also aimed at facilitating secure integration of these technologies into the national grid. It will support initiatives to prepare the workforce for these jobs.
This funding round is expected to focus on early stages of technology development. US consultancy GTM Research believes that this reflects a priority shift from later-stage commercialization to early-stage research. At the same time, it also stresses improving the affordability, flexibility and performance of solar within the grid.
Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), said, “It is critically important that the United States maintain its global leadership in the development of advanced, high-performing solar technologies for both the photovoltaic and concentrating solar power industries. Prioritizing research and workforce development for the hundreds of thousands of Americans that solar employs is vital.”
Perry said, “American ingenuity is the engine of our energy economy.” He added that, “Investing in all of our abundant energy sources, including solar technologies, will help to drive down costs and ensure that the nation leads the world in energy production and innovation.”
The funding program will focus on:
- Advanced solar systems and integration technologies (up to $46 million for 14 projects)
- Concentrating solar power research and development (up to $24 million for 21 projects)
- Photovoltaics research and development (up to $27 million for 28 projects)
- Improving and expanding the solar industry through workforce initiatives (up to $8.5 million for 4 projects)
Interested parties need to submit a letter of intent by May 4, 2018, followed by a mandatory concept paper by May 9, 2018. Full applications must be submitted by June 26, 2018. Final winners are expected to be announced on Sept. 3, 2018. More details of this funding opportunity are available on the DOE’s website.