Solar Snapshot: New Small Business Awards and Over $9 Million in Funding Selections Announced

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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: 3 minutes, 26 seconds

What's New?

DOE Releases New Small Business Funding for Solar Research and Development

DOE just released funding for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I program for Fiscal Year 2023. SETO seeks solutions from U.S.-based small businesses that are working to advance the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. Letters of intent for this funding opportunity are due January 3, 2023, by 5:00 p.m. ET.

SBIR/STTR funding opportunity

DOE Announces $8 Million for Projects to Advance Agrivoltaics

Six projects totaling $8 million were selected as part of the Foundational Agrivoltaic Research for Megawatt Scale (FARMS) funding program. These projects will examine how agrivoltaics, the co-location of agricultural production either underneath and/or in between rows of solar panels, can scale up to provide new economic opportunities to farmers, rural communities, and the solar industry.


20 Teams Selected as Solar Prize Round 6 Semifinalists

DOE announced the 20 semifinalist teams moving on in the American-Made Solar Prize Round 6. The teams each won $50,000 and will advance their technologies in the next stage of the competition. In addition, two teams were awarded an additional $25,000 bonus cash prize for developing solutions that enable underserved communities to overcome systemic barriers to solar deployment.

Save the Date for the 2023 National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) Summit

It’s community solar’s time to shine! Mark your calendars for the third annual NCSP Summit to be held on January 19, 2023, in San Diego, CA and virtually. Join the partnership to stay up to date on the summit details, NCSP announcements, and other community solar news.

Upcoming Deadlines

Don't forget to participate in these funding opportunities, prizes, and solicitations!

Some Light 🌞 Reading


SolarAPP+ Rips Red Tape Off the Rooftop Solar Approval Process

Permitting can be a major barrier to rooftop solar adoption and deployment, but thanks to the SETO-funded Solar Automated Permit Processing+ (SolarAPP+) software tool, now permits can be approved instantly! Learn how SolarAPP+ is benefitting communities across the country and sign your community up to use this free platform.

The Promise of Particles for Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power (CSP)

Learn about the potential for small, sand-like particles to usher in the next generation of long duration energy storage and CSP plant efficiency, and the exciting particle-based innovations and insights SETO has funded for more than a decade.

SETO is Hiring!

SETO is looking to bring on one technology manager to join its Manufacturing and Competitiveness team and two to join the Systems Integration team. Technology managers support the research, development, demonstration, and commercialization of high-impact solar technologies and solutions that enable the reliable, resilient, secure, and cost-effective integration of solar energy onto the nation’s electricity grid. Learn more and spread the word!

SETO-EERE We'reHiring

Interactive Chart of Best Photovoltaic (PV) Cell Efficiency Over Time

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) maintains a chart of the highest confirmed conversion efficiencies for research solar cells across a range of PV technologies. NREL developed an interactive version of the chart, which displays the progress of solar cell performance over time.


Gain PV Expertise at NREL’s Hands On Photovoltaic Experience (HOPE) Workshop

Doctoral students can apply for the annual HOPE Workshop through February 17, 2023. HOPE 2023 is a program designed to strengthen PV research at universities in the United States and will be held at NREL and Colorado School of Mines on July 9–15, 2023.

Upcoming Events

Single-Semester Session of Solar District Cup Informational Webinar

January 13, 2023 | 1 p.m. ET
Students are encouraged to register for this informational webinar on the single-semester session of DOE’s collegiate competition, Solar District Cup. Registration is open for the single-semester session until January 26, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET.

Products and Publications

In Case You Missed It

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