The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made selections for $130 million in new projects to advance solar technologies. Through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Solar Energy Technologies Office, 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.
“Ensuring low-cost, reliable electricity for all Americans while minimizing risk is a top priority for this department,” says Dan Brouillette, U.S. Secretary of Energy. “That means creating domestic manufacturing opportunities and increasing the power system’s resilience in case of disruptions. Projects that advance solar technologies are essential to achieving these goals.”
Along with advancing research in photovoltaics (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 solar projects selected by the DOE include:
-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
-Immunity 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
-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
For the full list of projects, click here.