Energy Department Awards Over $4 Million to Small Solar Businesses

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Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Solar Energy Technologies Office 

SBIR graphic

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that 22 small businesses across 16 states will receive up to $200,000 to move their solar technologies forward and develop a proof of concept.

These new projects are part of the first phase of the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program, which helps companies commercialize their innovations.

Nine project selections represent two brand-new topics for the program: floating solar-powered aeration systems that can clean wastewater and improve aquaculture, and solar technologies that can blend into homes and buildings without altering their curb appeal, which can help increase solar adoption.

Five projects are components for particle-based thermal transport systems in concentrating solar-thermal power plants; five will help open new solar markets, including commercial and industrial buildings and agricultural applications; two are power electronics devices that can increase grid resilience, and one integrates solar into home mortgages to reduce soft costs.

Learn more about these selections, and see a full list of SETO’s SBIR and STTR projects.


The SBIR/STTR program consists of competitive funding opportunities that encourage U.S.-based small businesses to engage in high-risk, innovative research and technology development with the potential for future commercialization. The program is managed by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and awards projects in technology areas across the entire department. It is part of the larger SBIR program across the federal government, which is administered by the Small Business Administration.

Deadline Approaching for Solar Energy Innovation Network

In addition, the deadline to apply for up to $200,000, technical assistance, and facilitation support through the Solar Energy Innovation Network is June 15. The Innovation Network is seeking proposals from multistakeholder teams that will use real-world data to research and share ways to reduce barriers to solar energy adoption.