DOE announced $130 million in solar technology projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced selections for $130 million in new projects to advance solar technologies. DOE will fund 67 research projects across 30 states that reduce the cost of solar, increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, and improve the reliability of the nation’s electric grid.
Along with advancing research in PV, concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP), and systems integration, the projects in DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2020 Funding Program include new areas of research in artificial intelligence (AI), hybrid plants, and solar with agriculture.
The department will fund eight projects for PV hardware research with $14 million for that aim to make PV systems last longer and increase the reliability of solar systems made of silicon solar cells, as well as new technologies like thin-film and bifacial solar cells. $39 million will be awarded to Heliogen, Inc., which will build and operate a supercritical carbon dioxide power cycle that will serve as a test site to accelerate the commercialization of low-cost CSP plants. Ten research projects will receive $34 million to develop resilient community microgrids to maintain power during and restore power after man-made or natural disasters, improve cybersecurity for PV inverters and power systems, and develop advanced hybrid plants that operate collaboratively with other resources for improved reliability and resilience.
Furthermore, the DOE will fund AI applications in solar energy with emphasis on machine learning to optimize operations and solar forecasting; moreover innovations in hardware manufacturing, solar studies, PV system design and impacts analysis and research for farmers and ranchers to co-locate solar and agriculture, and small innovative projects to advance PV and CSP
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