The U.S. Energy Department announced $22.7 million for 23 projects that will significantly reduce the costs for solar energy systems across a variety of technologies. The new projects will promote the next generation of products, services, and manufacturing processes to help accelerate the deployment and reduce the cost of solar energy across the United States. These private-sector companies will also help to grow the number of jobs in the domestic solar industry and increase U.S. solar energy manufacturing capabilities. Additionally, this will further the SunShot Initiative’s goal to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional forms of energy by 2020.
“The solar energy industry has been one of the fastest growing industries in the United States for the past five years. Costs are falling, deployment is booming, and factories are opening. As of the second quarter of 2015, total solar installed capacity in the U.S. surpassed more than 22.7 gigawatts with approximately 785,000 solar projects operating across the country,” said Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “The new projects announced today show the Obama Administration’s continuing commitment to help industry develop and manufacture new, efficient, and innovative technologies that will help maintain and grow our country’s solar leadership.”
This Technology to Market funding program combines three historically separate SunShot Initiative funding programs—Incubator, Solar Manufacturing Technology (SolarMaT), and Scaling Up Nascent PV at Home (SUNPATH). The new, comprehensive funding program supports projects with the potential to significantly reduce the costs for solar energy systems and bring disruptive innovation to the solar industry. This effort is also part of the Department’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, aimed at boosting American competitiveness and supporting a strong domestic, clean energy manufacturing sector.
The tools, technologies, and services developed by these new projects aim to reduce the costs of technologies, including photovoltaics (PV); tracking systems; PV, load, and storage integration; grid monitoring; and power electronics—all while cutting soft costs related to customer acquisition, permitting, project siting, financing, interconnection, and inspection.
While these new projects get off the ground, the SunShot Initiative is now accepting applications for the second round of awardees under this Technology to Market funding program. Mandatory concept papers are due Wednesday, November 18. Find application details and related deadlines HERE.