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DOE Announces US$130 Million in Solar Technology Projects

Nov. 16, 2020
Sixty-seven research projects across 30 states to ensure low-cost, reliable electricity for Americans while minimizing risk.
  • DOE to fund 67 research projects that reduce cost of solar, increase manufacturing competitiveness, improve grid reliability.
  • Solar technology projects to increase the power system's resilience in case of disruptions.
  • Projects include new areas of research in AI, hybrid plants, and solar with agriculture.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced selections for US$130 million in new projects to advance solar technologies. Through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Office, the DOE will fund 67 research projects across 30 states that reduce the cost of solar, increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, and improve the reliability of the nation's electric grid.

"Ensuring low-cost, reliable electricity for all Americans while minimizing risk is a top priority for this department," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. "That means creating domestic manufacturing opportunities and increasing the power system's resilience in case of disruptions. Projects that advance solar technologies are essential to achieving these goals."

Along with advancing research in photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP), and systems integration, the projects in the DOE's Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2020 Funding Program include new areas of research in artificial intelligence (AI), hybrid plants, and solar with agriculture. Read more about the selections below:

  • PV Hardware Research – US$14 million for eight projects that aim to make PV systems last longer and increase the reliability of solar systems made of silicon solar cells, as well as new technologies like thin-film and bifacial solar cells.
  • Systems Integration – US$34 million for 10 research projects that will develop resilient community microgrids to maintain power during and restore power after man-made or natural disasters, improve cybersecurity for PV inverters and power systems, and develop advanced hybrid plants that operate collaboratively with other resources for improved reliability and resilience.
  • Innovations in Manufacturing: Hardware Incubator – US$14 million for 10 research projects that will advance innovative prototypes to a pre-commercial stage, including products that support U.S. solar manufacturing and reduce the cost of installation.
  • Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies 3 – US$9.7 million for six research projects that will examine how information gets to stakeholders to enable better decision-making about solar and combining solar with energy efficiency, energy storage, and electric vehicles (EVs).

Award amounts are subject to final negotiation. For a full list of projects, visit here.

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