Washington, D.C., United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] At the opening of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Solar Decathlon on the National Mall this week, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced up to US $87 million will be made available to support the development of new solar energy technologies.
Of this funding, $50 million comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A total of 47 projects with universities, electric power utilities, DOE’s national laboratories, and local governments have been selected to support use of solar technologies in U.S. cities, help address technical challenges, ensure reliable connectivity with the electrical grid, and train a new generation of solar workers to install and maintain solar energy systems.
“Today’s awards are among the many investments made to create new jobs and a clean energy future with solar power. The projects will help accelerate the use of solar energy by residents, businesses and communities, and promote the long-term viability of solar energy by investing in the technologies of the future,” Secretary Chu said. “I applaud each of these award winners who are vital to moving our country towards a sustainable solar infrastructure.”
The projects selected for negotiation of awards are in four categories:
- High Penetration Solar Deployment. Seven projects will model, test, and evaluate the impact of large amounts of photovoltaic (PV) electricity on the reliability and stability of the electric power system.
- Solar America Cities Special Projects. Sixteen cities have been selected for projects that will address specific barriers to solar adoption in urban settings and support innovative approaches that can be widely replicated. Many cities will use this funding for multiple efforts.
- Solar Installer Training. Nine colleges, universities, and local organizations have been selected to lead regional solar installation “train-the-trainer” programs.
- Research projects at DOE national laboratories. Fifteen projects at DOE national laboratories will seek to improve technologies, devices and processes for both the PV and Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) industry.
The selected projects will help accelerate the commercialization of solar technologies in an effort to achieve cost-competitive solar electricity by 2015, in addition to developing advanced solar technologies for the future.