SETO Newsletter: New Small Business Opportunity; Fellows Wanted

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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: 4 minutes 39 seconds.



New Funding Opportunity for Small Businesses

DOE announced new funding for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I program for Fiscal Year 2022. Through SBIR/STTR, U.S. small businesses are encouraged to engage in high-risk, innovative research and technology development with the potential for commercialization. Topics include photovoltaic recycling, next-generation solar forecasting, and more. Letters of intent for this funding opportunity are due January 3, 2022, by 5:00 p.m. ET. 

Deadline Approaching: Perovskite Startup Prize Submissions

The deadline to submit an idea to the American-Made Perovskite Startup Prize is quickly approaching and there are still funds available for perovskite entrepreneurs to win—that is, until 6-9 finalists have been selected. So, make sure to submit your idea soon! The competition accelerates efforts to develop new, innovative, U.S.-based perovskite solar companies. Register your team and submit your innovation by January 7, 2022.

Perovskite Startup Prize

Deadline Extension: Solar Forecasting Prize 

The deadline for the American-Made Solar Forecasting Prize has been extended to January 12, 2022. The Prize seeks projects that predict how much energy solar power plants will generate and will select the best-performing algorithm with the strongest commercialization plan tools.

Apply for a Solar Office Fellowship  

SETO is hiring fellows who are seeking careers in clean energy and hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. Fellows use their expertise to support solar energy research and development through all technical areas of research, communications, and outreach. Apply by January 15, 2022

SETO Fellowship Flyer

EnergyTech University Prize Challenges Students to Design Business Plan  

DOE recently launched the EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP), a competition that challenges post-secondary students to develop and present a business plan that successfully identifies an energy technology, assess its market potential, and propose a strategy for commercialization. EnergyTech UP awards more than $250,000 in cash prizes to teams, with $25,000 for solar-focused business plans. Register your team by January 31, 2022. 

DOE Releases RFI to Enhance Energy Supply Chain Resiliency

DOE issued a request for information (RFI) on energy sector supply chains. The RFI seeks input from all stakeholders involved directly and indirectly in the supply chains of energy, energy systems and technologies, and energy efficiency technologies. Submit your thoughts by January 15, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET.

Semifinalists for Solar Prize Round 5 Announced

The 40 semifinalists that are advancing in the American-Made Solar Prize Round 5 were announced earlier this month. Explore the teams that are advancing solar innovations—from a solar-powered electric vehicle charging station, to a marketplace for second-hand modules, and to agrivoltaics technologies. The Solar Prize is designed to incentivize the nation’s entrepreneurs to strengthen American leadership in solar energy innovation and domestic manufacturing. 

Solar District Cup Class of 2021-2022 Finalists 

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced the 35 teams from 39 collegiate institutions moving on as finalists in the Solar District Cup Class of 2021-2022. This STEM-focused competition challenges students to design and model distributed energy systems for an assigned campus or urban district. By solving real-world challenges, they gain valuable industry experience and prepare themselves for careers in the solar workforce.

Would You Like to be a SETO Project Reviewer? 

SETO is expanding its reviewer pool and seeks potential candidates to review the applications SETO receives for federal funding opportunities and other projects. If you’re interested in becoming a potential reviewer for our office, sign up here and select “Solar” as the “Primary Area of Expertise.” Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

Become a SETO Reviewer Graphic

New Guidance to Local Authorities for Updating Grid Interconnection Requirements 

A new guide from NREL helps local authorities modernize their grid interconnection rules. The guidance details the necessary steps for a local authority, such as a state public utility commission, a rural co-operative, or a municipal utility, to incorporate IEEE Standard 1547-2018, which establishes grid interconnection and interoperability requirements for distributed energy resources.

Upcoming Events

National Community Solar Partnership Summit

January 25, 2022 | 11:00 a.m. ET 
Join SETO for its National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) Summit. The event will feature a discussion on how community solar and NCSP fit into broader DOE goals and share new announcements from partners that will help achieve NCSP’s target of solar deployment and $1 billion in community solar savings by 2025.

Energy Storage for Manufacturing and Industrial Decarbonization Workshop

February 8-9, 2022 
DOE and nine national labs invite you to participate in a free, virtual workshop on Energy Storage for Manufacturing and Industrial Decarbonization (Energy StorM). The workshop will bring together members of industry, academia, national labs, government, and other agencies to identify energy needs (heat, electricity) and potential clean-energy storage solutions to help decarbonize industrial processes that contribute to nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Check out the full agenda and register today.

Products & Publications

In Case You Missed It 

Minority Serving Institution STEM Research and Development Consortium Informational Webinar

On November 19, SETO held an informational webinar with the Minority Serving Institution STEM Research & Development Consortium (MSRDC) and discussed the Science and Technology Research Partnership (STRP) Program initiative. 

Equitable Solar Deployment in SolSmart Communities Webinar

This SETO webinar featured a roundtable discussion with the Interstate Renewable Energy Council about the SolSmart designation program and its commitment to equitable solar deployment

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