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DOE Announces $130Mn Funding for Solar Tech. Projects (Funding)
DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Solar Energy Technologies
Date: 2020-11-16
In Washington , the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) is reporting the selection of 67 research project across 30 states for a total of $130 million in grant funding to 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 photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) and systems integration, the projects in DOE's SETO Fiscal Year 2020 Funding Program include research in artificial intelligence (AI), hybrid plants, and solar with agriculture. The following projects are being funded:

  • PV Hardware Research -- $14 million for eight projects 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.

  • Integrated Thermal Energy Storage and Brayton Cycle Equipment Demonstration (Integrated TESTBED) -- $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.

  • Systems Integration -- $34 million for 10 research projects that will 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.

  • AI Applications in Solar Energy with Emphasis on Machine Learning -- $7.3 million for 10 projects that use AI and machine learning to optimize operations and solar forecasting, improve situational awareness on the distribution system and behind the meter, and enable the integration of more solar generation.

  • Innovations in Manufacturing: Hardware Incubator -- $14 million for 10 research projects that will advance innovative prototypes to a pre-commercial stage, including products that support U.S. solar manufacturing and reduce the cost of installation.

  • Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies 3 -- $9.7 million for six research projects that will examine how information gets to stakeholders to enable better decision-making about solar and combining solar with energy efficiency, energy storage, and electric vehicles.

  • Solar and Agriculture: System Design, Value Frameworks, and Impacts Analysis -- $7 million for four projects that will advance the technologies, research, and practices necessary for farmers, ranchers, and others to co-locate solar and agriculture.

  • Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS): PV and CSP -- $5 million for 18 projects that advance innovative, novel ideas in PV and CSP that can produce significant results in one year. (Source: US DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office, Website PR, 12 Nov., 2020) Contact: US DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office , www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-energy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  US DOE EERE,  


  • Toledo Solar Scores $1.7Mn for CdTe Tech. Development (Funding)
    Toledo Solar
    Date: 2020-11-16
    In the Buckeye State, Toledo Solar Inc. reports receipt of $1.7 million in grant funding from the US DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to develop semitransparent cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaics, a solar-cell material that could be suitable for use in windows, building facades, and rooftop solar modules a new solar-cell technology believed to be suitable for integration into building construction.

    The company will work with the University of Toledo's Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization Center, the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), and Project Vision Dynamics Inc. "to complete development of attractive, low-cost, high-efficiency solar window units and solar building facades through manufacturing innovations in CdTe module technology," according to the release. Prof. Michael J. Heben, the managing director of UT's Wright Center for Photovoltaics noted "Previously proposed options for incorporating photovoltaic power into building structures ave not made sense from a manufacturing point of view -- Toledo Solar's approach is entirely novel, and entirely doable, so the University of Toledo is very excited to be part of this effort."

    Toledo Solar is the only U.S. manufacturer of CdTe thin film PV for both residential and commercial rooftop markets, according to the company website. (Source: Toledo Solar,PR, Toledo Blabe, 14 Nov., 2020) Contact: Toledo Solar, 567-202-4145, info@Toledo-Solar.com, www.toledosolar-inc.com; US DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office, www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-energy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Toledo Solar,  Solar,  


    GE Developing Advanced PV Inverter Technology (Ind. Report, R&D)
    GE Research,
    Date: 2020-02-12
    GE Research, the central technology development arm for the General Electric Company is reporting receipt of $4.2 million in funding from the U.S. DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to help develop and deploy advanced grid-forming photovoltaic (PV) inverter control technologies to support higher amounts of solar power on the grid. GE will contribute $1.4 million to the project.

    The development of "grid-forming" controls will allow wind and solar inverters to form voltage and frequency levels like traditional generators, creating an opportunity for greater and more resilient integration of these resources into the grid. (Source: GE Research, PR, 7 Feb., 2020) Contact: DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office, energy.gov/solar-office; GE Research, www.ge.com › research

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GE Research,  PV,  US DOE SETO,  


    SETO Awards Eaton $3Mn for Solar, Storage R&D (Ind. Report, R&D)
    DOE SETO
    Date: 2019-12-20
    Cleveland-headquartered power management specialist Eaton Corp is reporting receipt of $3 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to pursue research and development initiatives that enable more widespread adoption of solar power and energy storage.

    Eaton's research will focus on developing a real-time controller for behind-the-meter distributed energy resources and loads, such as solar generation and battery storage. The project will integrate data from smart meters to enable enhanced grid services that improve reliability in distribution systems with high solar penetration.

    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Electric Power Research Institute, Pecan Street, Provo City Power and Commonwealth Edison will participate in Eaton's research. m will work with existing utility infrastructure.

    SETO supports early-stage R&D to improve the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. (Source: Eaton, PR, BusinessWire, 19 Dec., 2019) Contact: Eaton, Cara Klaer, Media, (248) 226-1755, CaraLKlaer@eaton.com, www.eaton.com; DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office, www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-energy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Eaton Corp,  SETO,  U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies ,  


    DOE Issues 2019 Concentrated Solar Power R&D Awards (Ind. Report)
    DOE EERE
    Date: 2019-11-08
    The U.S. DOE is reporting the funding selections for $128 million in new projects to advance solar technologies. Through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE EERE) Solar Energy Technologies Office, DOE will fund 75 innovative research projects that will lower solar electricity costs while working to boost solar manufacturing, reduce red tape, and make solar systems more resilient to cyber attacks. Selections are in the following areas:
  • Photovoltaics Research and Development -- $23.6 million for 21 projects;

  • Concentrating Solar Power Research and Development -- $30 million for 13 research projects;

  • Balance of Systems Soft Cost Reduction -- $17.6 million for 19 research projects;

  • Innovations in Manufacturing: Hardware Incubator -- $6.8 million for 7 research projects;

  • Advanced Solar Systems Integration Technologies -- $50 million for 15 research projects.

    Recipients list and other details are HERE.(Source: US DOE EERE, PR, reve, Nov., 2019) Contact: US DOE EERE, www.energy.gov/eere

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE EERE,  DOE EERE,  Solar,  Concentrated Solarr,  


  • DOE SETO Funds Univ. of Washington Solar Cell R&D (R&D, Funding)
    DOE SETO
    Date: 2019-01-18
    In Seattle, University of Washington (UW) researchers are reporting receipt of $2.3 million in funding from the U.S. DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). The funding is to support projects that will advance R&D in photovoltaic materials.

    The UW research teams are led by Scott Dunham, a professor of electrical and computer engineering; Hugh Hillhouse, a professor of chemical engineering; and Devin MacKenzie, an associate professor of both mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering. All are also researchers with the UW-based Clean Energy Institute, and MacKenzie serves as director of the institute's Washington Clean Energy Testbeds. Dunham and Hillhouse are also members of the UW Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute.

    Prof. Hugh Hillhouse's project was awarded $1.5 million to focus on understanding how the composition, structure, and environmental exposure of pervoskites can affect their stability and performance. Associate Prof Devin MacKenzie's project scored nearly $200,000 to focus on perovskite manufacturing using roll-to-roll processing techniques. Prof. Scott Dunham's project will investigate copper indium gallium selenide (CIGs) with $681,000 in grant funding. (Source: University of Washington News, DOE SETO, 16 Jan., 2019) Contact: University of Washington Clean Energy Institute, 206-221-9263, uwcei@uw.edu, www.cei.washington.edu; Washington Clean Energy Testbeds, 206-685-6833, wcet@uw.edu, www.wcet.washington.edu; Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute, University of Washington, www.washington.edu; US DOE SETO, www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-energy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  DOE SETO,  PV,  Photovoltaic,  


    Dartmouth Advancing Concentrating Solar Power Systems (R&D)
    DOE SETO,Dartmouth College
    Date: 2018-11-21
    The U.S. DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) reports the awarding of $400,000 to Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, to advance concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) R&D.

    The Dartmouth project, led by Prof. Jifeng Liu, will focus on a new type of solar absorber coating aimed at optimizing energy conversion efficiency. The absorber coating reportedly converts over 95 pct of the absorbed energy into heat.

    Dartmouth's research is one of several CSP projects that will develop materials and designs for collectors, power cycles, and thermal transport systems that can withstand high temperatures and resist corrosion. (Source: Dartmouth College, 19 Nov., 2018)Contact: Dartmouth College, Thayer School of Engineering, Prof. Jifeng Liu, https://engineering.dartmouth.edu; US DOE SETO, www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-energy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE SETO,  Sola,  CSP Solarr,  


    SolarReserve Scores $2Mn to Advance CSP Thermal Tech. (Funding)
    SolarReserve
    Date: 2018-10-26
    In the Golden State, Santa Monica-based commercial-scale solar specialist SolarReserve reports it has been selected for $2.0 million in grant funding from the U.S. DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to advance concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) R&D. The award was part of the DOE's FY2018 SETO funding for new projects that will lower solar electricity costs and support a growing solar workforce.

    SolarReserve's project aims to develop a best-in-class next generation heliostat design, optimized for CSP technology projections.

    Heliostats are the dual-axis solar tracking mirrors that concentrate and focus the sun's energy onto an energy collection receiver atop a central tower. Within the receiver, fluid flows through piping that forms external walls; this fluid absorbs the heat from the concentrated sunlight. In SolarReserve's technology, the fluid utilized is molten salt, which is used both as a heat transfer fluid as well as a thermal energy storage medium.

    SolarReserve will partner on the project with South Africa's Stellenbosch University and Sandia National Laboratories to leverage their complementary innovations and testing facilities. (Source: SolarReserve, PR, Business Wire, 25 Oct., 2018) Contact: SolarReserve, Mary Grikas, (310) 315-2274, mary.grikas@solarreserve.com, www.solarreserve.com; US DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office , (202) 287-1862, solar@ee.doe.gov, energy.gov/solar-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News SolarReserve,  CSP,  

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