DOE providing $38 million to support solar supply chain technology innovation

July 1, 2024

The Department of Energy (DOE) is making $38 million available for research and development (R&D) solar supply projects that de-risk solar hardware, manufacturing processes and software products.  Funds will also support projects that promote software that delivers an automated permit review and approval process for rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) with or without energy storage.

Mandatory concept papers are due July 19, 2024. Applicants must submit full applications by Oct. 7, 2024.

The funds come from the Fiscal Year 2024 Solar Energy Supply Chain Incubator program, an initiative designed to increase domestic manufacturing within the United States’ solar energy supply chain. The program will help drive climate crisis innovation by deploying clean energy solutions through solar hardware, software and manufacturing processes.

The program prioritizes PV, systems integration and concentrating solar-thermal power technologies and solutions that connect solar power with storage, electric vehicles (EV) and dual-use PV applications. Eligible applicants include for-profit and non-profit entities such as academic institutions, state and local governments and Tribal governments.

The DOE estimates it will deliver between 11 and 23 awards through the funding opportunity. Recipients will receive between $1 million and $5 million through the program. The funding will be split between three topics areas.

The first topic area focuses on solar research and technology development. The DOE estimates it will supply between five and 10 projects with $1 million to $2 million each. The topic area supports R&D projects that de-risk solar components and/or manufacturing processes. Recipients will also develop and vet feasible methods to achieve commercial success.

The second topic area centers around demonstrations for solar technology. The agency anticipates supplying between five and 10 projects with $1 million to $5 million each. The topic area will support established companies or startups for pilot-scale and/or prototype demonstration of solar projects. Applicants should have existing prototypes that need further testing, engineering or controlled environment demonstrations.

The final topic area prioritizes solar permitting software outreach, education and development. The DOE will award up to three projects between $1 million and $5 million each. The funds will support outreach, education and software technology development activities for automated cod-compliant solar permitting software. Solar installers must be able to use the software to submit rooftop permit applications. Local governments must be able to automate their review and approval processes using the software.

Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash

Adam Rollins

Adam Rollins brings his expertise as a Researcher and Writer to the Managing Editor role for several of SPI's key publications, including Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the latest addition, Government Market News. With a rich background as a freelance Content Specialist, Adam has honed a passion for learning and information gathering, delving into various industries. His research and writing have spanned a range of topics, from artificial intelligence (AI) technology, conservation, and project outsourcing, to managed IT services and software development.

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