Department of Energy announces $128 Million in new projects to advance solar technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced selections for $128 million in new projects to advance research and development in PV, concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP), soft costs reduction, innovations in manufacturing, and systems integration. Through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, DOE will fund 75 innovative research projects spanning 22 states to lower solar electricity costs, while working to boost solar manufacturing, reduce red tape, and make solar systems more resilient to cyber attacks.
Twenty-one of these projects are focused on PV research and development and were awarded with $23.6 million to reduce the cost of solar photovoltaics by half, helping to provide more affordable electricity for U.S. consumers and businesses. To achieve these deep cost reductions, the PV projects will focus on increasing performance, reducing material and manufacturing costs, and improving the reliability of PV cells, modules, and systems.
Concentrating solar power research and development: $30 million for 13 research projects that enable CSP to provide power at any time and in any season, and that work to achieve the 2030 DOE cost target of $0.05 per kWh for CSP-generated electricity with at least 12 hours of thermal energy storage.
Balance of systems soft cost reduction: DOE supports 19 research projects with $17.6 million to reduce the costs associated with the non-hardware components of a solar system. These projects help reduce the red tape associated with installing solar and solar-plus-storage systems, since regulatory and financing burdens lead to higher costs for both developers and consumers.
Innovations in manufacturing: DOE spend $6.8 million for 7 research projects from innovative companies with early-stage product ideas that can lower solar costs and rapidly achieve commercialization, with an emphasis on projects that contribute to a strong U.S. solar manufacturing sector.
Advanced solar systems integration technologies: $50 million for 15 research projects that improve the ability of grid operators to integrate increasing amounts of solar generation onto the grid in a cost-effective, secure, resilient, and reliable manner. These projects also support development of technology solutions that enhance the visibility and control of PV inverters and sensors, while improving the security of those devices from cyber attack.
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