SETO Newsletter: $20 Million Perovskite Funding Opportunity; Solar Prize Winners Announcement

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Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Solar Energy Technologies Office


Top News: New Perovskite Research Funding; Solar Prize Round 2 Announcement; Stakeholder Webinar

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) recently issued a $20 million funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for perovskite photovoltaics (PV) research; DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Assistant Secretary Daniel R Simmons will announce the American-Made Solar Prize Round 2 winners in a live virtual event next week; our next stakeholder webinar is coming up; we want your feedback about our website; and we’re hiring.

Read these stories and more in this edition of the SETO newsletter.

Make It Stable, Durable, and Ready to Scale: Perovskite Research Funding

On August 13, DOE announced $20 million in new funding for 6–10 perovskite PV research and development (R&D) projects. Perovskite materials show great potential for high efficiency in solar cells but face stability and durability challenges. This funding opportunity aims to address those challenges through device R&D, manufacturing R&D, and establishment of a validation and bankability center. Register for the informational webinar on August 21 to learn more. To apply, you must submit a concept paper by September 23, 5 p.m. ET.

Add to Your Webinar Schedule: What’s Next for PV?

SETO’s next quarterly stakeholder webinar will focus on near-term PV research priorities, such as our perovskite work and manufacturing goals. Register today to join us September 10 at 11 a.m. ET. As always, we’ll give you the rundown of our work over the past few months and a preview of what’s to come. Got a question for us? Shoot us a note at

$500 Grand Goes to…

Mark your calendars: The final winners of the American-Made Solar Prize Round 2 will be announced on August 28 at 1 p.m. ET in a live virtual event. Each of the two winning teams will receive a grand prize of $500,000 in cash, plus $75,000 in technical support vouchers. If you want to compete, Round 4 is open and accepting submissions from all U.S.-based students, entrepreneurs, and other industry professionals with solar energy ideas that fill a void in the industry. Tune in to the Round 4 kick-off webinar on Tuesday, September 1, at 1 p.m. ET to learn more.

Solar Prize Round 4

Join the SETO Team

Looking to take your solar career to the next level? SETO has four open positions: a chief scientist who will lead cross-cutting strategic projects to shape the office’s direction and provide technical evaluations, and three technology managers of R&D projects—one for the concentrating solar power (CSP) team and two for the systems integration team. Learn more and apply today.

Rep Your District in the 2021 Solar District Cup

If you’re a student interested in designing a plan that brings solar energy to a campus or urban district, now is your chance to join the Solar District Cup Class of 2021. The competition is seeking student teams across various academic disciplines, as well as mentors, including educators and industry professionals, to compete in the Solar District Cup. The goal is to inspire the next generation of thought leaders in the solar industry and prepare students for career opportunities. Register for the informational webinar on September 10 at 1 p.m. ET.

Solar District Cup Class of 2021

Testing, Testing: National Lab Tests New Heat-Exchanger System

It’s like watching a baby grow up: In 2016, SETO awarded over $4 million to Sandia National Laboratories for its SunShot National Laboratory Multiyear Partnership project to build a falling particle receiver system with an integrated supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) loop. Now the lab’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility will test this particle-to-sCO2 heat-exchanger system, which includes the world’s first on-sun falling particle receiver connected to a sCO2 loop. Learn more about this work and watch the falling particle receiver in action.

Feedback Request: Tell Us about Our Website

SETO is in the process of updating its website, and we want to make sure we are providing you with information you want and need. Do you find particular content on our website incredibly useful? Are we missing something that you would like more information on? Send your thoughts, comments, and criticisms to by September 4, 2020.

A Few Quick Hits…

SolarPACES 2020 Virtual Conference

Shedding Light: Solar Projects Map

Did you know that SETO funds work in nearly every state in the nation and Puerto Rico? The Solar Projects Map showcases all our solar energy projects—more than 1,200 total, with almost 350 currently in progress—by universities, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, the National Laboratories, state and local governments, and more. Zoom in to see the pins that represent each project, which are color-coded by research area, and click for details. You can search by program area, status, and funding opportunity. Scroll down the page for the total dollar amounts awarded. It’s a comprehensive resource that can help you learn more about SETO-funded innovations.

Solar Project Map


The United States Association for Energy Economics (USAEE) Webinar
August 21 | 10 a.m. ET
This USAEE webinar, Adoption of Clean Energy Technologies: Empirical Evidence, will discuss empirical studies on the adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies in the United States and China.

Solar Energy Industries Association: Energy Storage Conference & Expo 2020
August 24-27 | 11 a.m. ET
The Energy Storage Conference and Expo 2020 is a virtual, four-day conference that connects energy storage developers, investors, and buyers with experts and features educational sessions and networking discussions.

The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) Working Groups: Workshop Series
September 22–24 | 2 p.m. ET
The SEPA Working Groups will lead a three-day virtual workshop on trends and challenges of transitioning to a carbon-free energy system.

SETO in the News

Solar Photo of the Week

Solar Photo of the Week

Parabolic trough collectors concentrate the sun’s energy on an oil-filled tube running along the focal line of the parabolic trough. Photo by Randy Montoya. Click the photo to download it.

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SETO is part of the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.