DOE announces $38 million solar supply chain incubator funding opportunity


The U.S. Department of Energy announced a $38 million funding opportunity via its Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), supporting research, development, and demonstration projects related to the solar energy supply chain. 

The funds are intended to support projects that de-risk solar hardware, manufacturing processes, and software products. The funding opportunities also seeks projects that provide outreach, education, or technology development for software that delivers an automated permit review and approval process for rooftop solar and/or energy storage. 

“These investments will help accelerate the growth of the solar industry, identify emerging opportunities, and drive down costs for our domestic energy market, positioning the United States on the leading edge of solar industry advances,” said DOE. 

Eligible technologies include PV, systems integration, concentrating solar-thermal power, technologies that connect solar with storage or electric vehicles. It also considers dual-use projects like agrivoltaics and vehicle-integrated photovoltaics. 

Topic areas: 

1. Solar Research and Technology Development 

DOE will support five to ten projects receiving $1 million to $2 million each. The topic area focuses on R&D projects for for-profit companies improving and de-risking solar components and/or manufacturing processes. Successful project submissions will develop and validate realistic pathways to commercial success. 

2. Solar Energy Demonstration 

Five to ten research, development, and demonstration projects will receive between $1 million and $5 million for established companies or startups to develop pilot-scale or prototype demonstration of solar products. Successful applicants for this topic area will have an existing prototype that requires further testing, engineering work, or demonstration in a controlled environment. 

3. Solar Permitting, Outreach, Education 

One to three projects receive between $1 million to $5 million for outreach, education, and software development activities for automated code-compliant rooftop solar permitting software. The projects are designed for use by solar installers to submit permit applications to local governments and to automate review and approval. 

DOE will hold an informational webinar on the funding opportunity on June 13, 2024. 

Link to Apply: Apply on EERE Exchange 

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