Small-Business Funding Available to Advance Solar Technologies

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Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Solar Energy Technologies Office 

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) funding program

On November 8, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the topics for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) funding programs for fiscal year 2022. SBIR/STTR give U.S. small businesses an opportunity to conduct high-risk, innovative research and technology development with potential for commercialization, spurring innovation and job creation. 

SBIR/STTR funding enables small businesses to achieve their goals in two phases: Phase I provides up to $200,000 to prove an idea’s feasibility. If successful, awardees can then receive up to $1.1 million in Phase II to develop a prototype. 

DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office is hosting an informational webinar on Thursday, November 18, at 12:30 p.m. ET to discuss the Phase I solar topics, below. Register for the webinar. 

DOE plans to fund projects that advance a broad range of ideas in the following topic areas: 

  • Multiuse Integrated Photovoltaic (PV) Systems, including building-integrated, agricultural, and floating PV, and PV in transportation  
  • PV Recycling 
  • Next-Generation Power Electronics Based on Silicon Carbide and/or Planar Magnetics 
  • Technologies to Integrate Solar Generation with Energy Storage Systems and/or Electric Vehicle Charging 
  • Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power System Construction, Manufacturing, and Reliability 
  • Solar Hardware and Software Technologies: Affordability, Reliability, Performance, and Manufacturing 
  • Transferring Novel Solar Technologies from Research Laboratories to the Market (open to STTR applications only) 
  • Concentrating Solar Power Technologies for Industrial Decarbonization (open to STTR applications only)
  • Next-Generation Solar Forecasting (open to STTR applications only)

Additionally, there are two opportunities to transfer a patented technology from a national lab to a small business for commercialization:  

  • Hierarchical Distributed Voltage Regulation in Networked Autonomous Grids 
  • Novel Solar Collector Tracking Error Direction: “NIO-Heliostat” 

Mandatory letters of intent are due January 3, 2022 at 5 p.m. ETLearn more about the solar topics, and look for the funding opportunity announcement in the coming weeks.