Federal Funding to Support 48 Projects Advancing Solar Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy yesterday said it will allocate $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,” SunShot Initiative Director Charlie Gay said in a statement. “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; they are:

  • Photovoltaics Research and Development 2: Modules and Systems (PVRD2), which will advance research in solar photovoltaic technology
  • Technology to Market 3 (T2M3), which supports early-stage solar technology research

In addition, private sector funding will yield a total public and private investment of nearly $65 million.

Among the 28 awards for the PV Research and Development 2/Modules and Systems program is $225,000 to MIT for two-dimensional material based layer transfer for low-cost, high-throughput, high-efficiency solar cells. According to DOE, this project involves the development of an innovative method to reduce or eliminate the cost of substrate materials, which are generally used to grow high efficiency solar cells.

Among the 20 awards for the T2M3 program is $2 million to SolarReserve for the development of cost reduction strategies for molten-salt thermal energy storage for concentrating solar power towers; and $1.6 million to EnergySage for the development of a scalable online solar marketplace that enables consumers to freely choose solar equipment, financing, and installation options.

Lead image credit: U.S. Department of Energy

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