Energy Department Funds 48 Projects to Advance Solar Power

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Posted: Saturday, July 15, 2017 7:50 pm | Updated: 9:35 am, Wed Jul 19, 2017.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Energy announced $46.2 million for 48 projects as part of its SunShot Initiative. These projects are intended to develop innovative, early-stage solar power technologies, which are aimed at lowering costs and improving reliability and efficiency.

"The SunShot Initiative is a proven driver of solar energy innovation," said SunShot Initiative Director Charlie Gay. "These projects ensure there’s a pipeline of knowledge, human resources, transformative technology solutions and research to support the industry."

The projects span two SunShot programs: Photovoltaics Research and Development 2: Modules and Systems, which will advance research in solar photovoltaic technology; and Technology to Market 3, which supports early-stage solar technology research.

In addition, cost share requirements will leverage additional private sector funding, yielding a total public and private investment of nearly $65 million. The funds provided are cooperative agreements that involve substantial federal oversight and consist of go/no go technical benchmarks, which reinforce attentive project stewardship.

PVRD2 supports a wide variety of photovoltaics research pathways, including module design, high-risk emerging research and technology facilitating rapid installation. Nearly 80 percent of these projects are led by academic institutions, ensuring that the next generation of energy researchers pursue cutting-edge solar technologies. These projects will investigate new solar concepts that have the potential to be broadly applied across the industry. The program is the latest of SunShot’s efforts to fund early-stage research and development designed to make solar one of the most cost-efficient energy sources in the nation.

T2M3 selects solar energy technologies and focuses on research to address early-stage, pre-commercial risk reduction. To maintain solar energy’s current growth trajectory, the industry needs a wide variety of products and services that can increase system values while reducing costs, increase consumer access to solar, and facilitate solar grid integration. Despite solar’s rapid growth, the challenge remains for small businesses to find funding for early-stage, transformative technology research and development. Businesses that receive funding under this program will perform the early-stage research to bring their technologies to a proof point where they are ready for private sector follow-on support.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Energy

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