Solar Snapshot: New Funding for Agrivoltaics; Platform to Boost Community Solar Access

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Solar Energy Technologies Office


What's Inside: Solar Snapshot, the newsletter of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), shares recent announcementsupcoming events; products and publicationsand more.

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Estimated read time: 4 minutes, 13 seconds

Some Light 🌞 Reading

New Funding to Study Agriculture and Solar

The Foundational Agrivoltaic Research for Megawatt Scale (FARMS) funding opportunity will award $8 million in funding for projects that examine how the co-location of agriculture and solar energy can scale up to provide new economic opportunities to farmers, rural communities, and the solar industry. SETO is interested in projects that partner with farmers who are pursuing climate-smart and sustainable agriculture. Register for the FARMS webinar on May 12 and submit a mandatory letter of intent by June 1 at 5 p.m. ET.

Funding Opportunity for Foundational

Deadline Approaching: Community Resilience Funding Opportunity

There is $25 million in funding available for the development and application of solar technologies to improve the resilience of electric power systems and the communities they support. Mandatory concept papers are due May 26 at 5 p.m. ET.

Apply for Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power Funding by May 16

Applicants who submitted concept papers have until May 16 at 5 p.m. ET. to apply for $25 million in new funding for projects that advance solar-thermal technologies that can be used to decarbonize steel, cement, ammonia, and other industrial process and projects that advance particle-based systems for thermal energy storage.

Perovskite Perspective

SETO experts published a peer-reviewed article to advance the development of perovskite photovoltaic (PV) technologies in support of the Biden Administration’s goal to decarbonize the electricity grid by 2035. Under the strategy laid out, SETO aims to improve the durability, efficiency, and manufacturing of perovskite PV materials.

Making Community Solar Accessible to Low-Income Communities

The National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are partnering to develop and pilot a digital platform that connects project developers with Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program recipients.  

Community-Focused Organizations Share Feedback on Community Solar

More than 75 community-based organizations provided input on the barriers and needs for more equitable deployment of community solar. NCSP released a report summarizing the feedback and discussing how it is being incorporated into NCSP’s pathway to success and other initiatives.

Share Your Input on Building Energy Codes

DOE’s Building Technologies Office seeks public responses to help drive the cost-effective implementation of building energy codes for improved efficiency and resilience. States, partnerships, alliances, and associations are encouraged to submit responses by May 20 at 5 p.m. ET.

Request for Information to Strengthen and Modernize the Grid

DOE seeks public input on the structure of a $2.5 billion formula grant program to strengthen and modernize America’s power grid against wildfires, extreme weather, and other natural disasters exacerbated by the climate crisis. The new program will assist states and tribal nations with projects that create good-paying jobs to deliver clean, affordable, and reliable energy. Submit comments via email to by June 2.

Pollinator and Solar

Case Study: Pollinator-Friendly Solar in Georgia

A solar farm on former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s land is one of five solar sites being used to study stormwater infiltration and runoff at solar farms through the Photovoltaic Stormwater Management Research and Testing project funded by SETO. This new case study from project partners, the Great Plains Institute, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Fresh Energy, and the University of Minnesota describes the site’s unique characteristics, which will help researchers develop best practices for solar projects and stormwater management.

Upcoming Events

Data Validation for Hosting Capacity Analyses

May 10 | 12 p.m. ET
NREL and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council will present in-depth findings from a recent report to help communities ensure their data is accurate and trustworthy.

Tweetstorm: Shine On Awards for Inclusive Solar Outreach

May 12 | 1 p.m. ET
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will host a tweetstorm to share information about the Shine On Awards, where solar communicators receive DOE recognition for best practices in inclusive solar communications campaigns.

Webinar: Circumvention 101

May 16 | 1 p.m. ET
The U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration’s Enforcement and Compliance unit will hold a virtual informational session open to the public to present an overview of the modified antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) regulations as they relate to circumvention inquiries. While not specifically about the solar AD/CVD investigation, this should provide a good overview of the process the Commerce Department is working through.

Workshop: Addressing Solar Data Challenges for Utilities and Power Systems

June 1-2 | 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET
SETO and NREL are hosting a workshop to address challenges around the collection and integration of solar data from multiple sources. The two-day workshop will be held both online and in-person in Golden, Colorado.

Products & Publications

In Case You Missed It

Solar Innovators Advance in DOE Competitions

During the American-Made Challenges Earth Day Celebration, 20 finalists advanced in the Solar Prize Round 5 for their hardware and software innovations. DOE also announced six semifinalists advanced to the next stage of the Solar Desalination Prize to develop their concepts for solar-thermal technologies that produce clean water from salt water. In the Solar District Cup, Creighton University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Drexel University designed innovative distributed energy systems to win their respective divisions. A public audience selected Creighton as the Project Pitch Champion. DOE also announced that Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Arizona won the 20th annual Solar Decathlon—a competition challenging students to design and build sustainable buildings.

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