SETO Newsletter: Solar Futures Study; Prize Winners Announced; Funding Deadlines Approaching

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Solar Energy Technologies Office


What's Inside: This edition of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) newsletter shares recent announcements; upcoming eventsproducts and publications; spotlight featuresevents you may have missed; and more.

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Estimated read time: 3 minutes 58 seconds.



Solar Futures Study

SETO and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently released the Solar Futures Study, which details solar energy’s potential role in decarbonizing the electric grid. The report shows that solar deployment would need to quickly ramp up to 60 gigawatts of alternating current per year by the end of the decade. 

Solar Futures Study Graphic

Deadline Approaching: Perovskite Startup Prize  

There’s still time to apply for the $3 million Perovskite Startup Prize competition. Your team could win $200,000 in cash and advance to the final stage of the competition. Submit plans for your perovskite solar business by September 30 by 5 p.m. ET.  

Call for Applications: Technical Assistance to State Public Utility Commissions  

DOE has joined five national labs to create a new opportunity for state public utility commissions (PUCs). Starting early 2022, PUCs will be eligible to receive high-impact, in-depth technical assistance from national labs for 1-2 years. The program is designed to help state regulators address challenges facing the electricity industry. Applications are due September 28 by 5 p.m. ET.

Deadline Approaching: Solar Hardware and Software Innovation Funding

The Solar Prize Round 5 is open to innovators of all backgrounds and expertise. Round 5 is awarding $4.6 million in cash prizes to competitors who submit viable solar concepts and are motivated to further develop their ideas throughout the competition. Submissions are due October 5 at 5 p.m. ET

Solar Prize Round 5 graphic

Winners Circle: American-Made Solar Prize Round 4 

AeroShield Materials and the r&d lab are the winners of the American-Made Solar Prize Round 4. Each team earned $500,000 in cash prizes and $75,000 in technical support vouchers for their creative solar technologies. 

Open Letter to Mayors from the Secretary of Energy

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm penned a letter to U.S. mayors detailing how America can transition to a carbon-free future and how tools like the SolarAPP+ platform can support this move, ease deployment of clean technologies, and create new economic opportunities for their communities.

Solar District Cup Class of 2021-2022 Registration Deadline Extended

To allow for the greatest number of students to benefit from participating in the Class of 2021-2022, competition organizers extended the registration deadline from Sept. 16 to Sept. 27. If you’re interested in participating as either a student or faculty advisor in this competition, make sure you register your team by Sept. 27, at 5 p.m. ET!

Upcoming Events

Series on Grid-Forming Technologies

September 20 | 4 p.m. ET
The Universal Interoperability for Grid-Forming Inverters (UNIFI) Consortium and University of California, Berkeley, is hosting a fall seminar series on grid-forming technologies. The UNIFI series will take place virtually over Zoom on Mondays. 

Communities Local Energy Action Program Pilot: Informational Webinar

September 28 | 3:30 p.m. ET
DOE will be hosting an informational webinar on the Communities Local Energy Action Program (LEAP). The program is a new pilot initiative that will help environmental justice and fossil fuel communities develop actions plans to transition to a clean energy future. 


Share Your Thoughts: PV 50-Year Service Life

SETO issued a request for information (RFI) to gather insight on technical research that can expand the service life of utility-scale PV systems to 50 years. SETO seeks feedback from operations and maintenance service providers, the solar manufacturing industry, and more. Submit your response to this RFI by September 30 at 5 p.m. ET.

Share Your Thoughts: Decarbonizing Industrial Processes

SETO issued an RFI to gather insights on how we can use high-temperature concentrating solar-thermal technologies for industrial decarbonization. SETO seeks feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders. Submit your response to this RFI by October 13 at 5 p.m. ET.

Share Your Thoughts: Solar and Wildlife

SETO issued an RFI to gather input on solar land use and its impacts on wildlife and ecosystems. SETO is interested in hearing from PV developers, utility planners, government agencies, and conservation and environmental groups. Submit your response by September 30 at 5 p.m. ET.

Products & Publications

Read more of our latest blog posts from the Summer of Solar campaign. 

In Case You Missed It

Industrial Decarbonization: Renewable Process Heating from Concentrating Solar Thermal Workshop

On September 14-15, SETO held a two-day event in collaboration with the Advanced Manufacturing Office and the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Technology Office. The offices discussed opportunities for research, development, and demonstration of concentrating solar-thermal technologies to deliver heat to difficult-to-decarbonize industrial processes.

Generation 3 Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power Summit

SETO discussed the future course of Generation 3 (Gen3) concentrating solar-thermal power technologies. The summit featured panel discussions and presentations on the outcomes of the first two years of SETO’s Gen3 CSP funding program.

Learn more about SETO or DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.