SETO Newsletter: New Small Business Opportunities; Help Your Community Make a Clean Energy Transition

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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 announcementsupcoming events; products and publicationsand more.

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Estimated read time: 3 minutes 7 seconds.



Coming Soon: Funding for High-Risk, Innovative Research by Small Businesses

DOE announced new solar topics for Phase I of the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) funding program and seeks projects that range from photovoltaic (PV) recycling to solar software technologies, and much more. Phase I awards up to $200,000 to prove an idea’s feasibility; Phase II provides up to $1 million to develop a prototype. Register for the informational webinar on November 18 at 12:30 p.m. ET.  

Solar SBIR/STTR Webinar

Technical Assistance Available for Clean Energy Transition Plans

DOE announced up to $16 million for the Communities Local Energy Action Program (LEAP), which will provide technical assistance services to support 24-36 communities as they develop community-driven clean energy transition plans. This new pilot program supports communities currently experiencing either direct environmental justice impacts or direct economic impacts from a shift away from historical reliance on fossil fuels. Register for an informational webinar on December 7. Register for the LEAP program by December 15 at 5 p.m. ET to apply by December 17 at 5 p.m. ET.

The Solar Forecasting Prize Is Here 

You and your team could win $50,000 for showcasing the best-performing algorithm when you apply for the American-Made Solar Forecasting Prize. The competition is designed to develop and commercialize tools that predict how much energy solar power plants will generate. Prepare your best commercialization plan and submit your application by December 15.  

Solar Forecasting Prize competition

New Funding for Minority Serving Institutions   

A new initiative between SETO and the Minority Serving Institution STEM Research and Development Consortium is promoting innovation in solar energy technologies for underrepresented groups. The Science and Technology Research Partnership (STRP) program will provide funding for solar energy innovation in five separate research areas, furthering progress toward SETO’s energy equity and decarbonization goals. Register for the informational webinar on November 19 and apply by December 17.  

PV End-of-Life System Management Summary

The results are in: After analyzing responses from SETO’s request for information (RFI) and workshop on the current state of PV end-of-life system management, the office developed a summary of findings from both. Read the RFI summary and the workshop summary.

Smart Energy Voices Podcast with Dr. Becca Jones-Albertus

SETO director Dr. Becca Jones-Albertus sat down with John Failla for the Smart Energy Voices Podcast. Hear what they had to say about the Solar Futures Study, decarbonization, solar deployment, and more.

Smart Energy Voices Podcast with Dr. Becca Jones-Albertus

Upcoming Events

Fiscal Year 2022 SBIR/STTR Solar Topics Webinar

November 18 | 12:30 p.m. ET
Join SETO for an informational webinar to discuss the Phase I solar topics of SBIR/STTR. Learn all about the early-stage ideas we’re looking for, how to apply, and more.

Equitable Solar Deployment in SolSmart Communities

November 30 | 2 p.m. ET
Join SETO and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council to learn about the SolSmart designation program and its commitment to equitable solar deployment. The webinar will feature a roundtable discussion with SolSmart participants from a variety of communities on how they have infused equity into their solar deployment work.

Products & Publications

In Case You Missed It 

Cybersecurity Summit: Securing Our Solar Future Today

On November 3, SETO and the Solar Energy Industries Association hosted a webinar about clean energy cyber and supply chain security. The event covered the legislative and regulatory status of key cybersecurity activities, standards for solar and storage developers, and more.

Solar Forecasting Prize Informational Webinar

On November 8, this SETO webinar covered the rules, goals, and structure of the Solar Forecasting Prize competition, which seeks to develop and commercialize tools that help grid operators plan and manage around predictions of how much energy solar power plants generate. 

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