Solar Snapshot: DOE Announces New Forecasting Prize & Launches Community Solar Fellowship Program

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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; connect the dots on solar energyand more.

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Estimated read time: 5 minutes, 5 seconds

What's New?

New Prize Competition to Advance Net-Load Forecasting

Probabilistic net-load forecasting is a powerful tool that can help utilities securely and reliably integrate large amounts of energy resources into the grid. The new $600,000 American-Made Net Load Forecasting Prize is open to organizations with solutions to make net-load forecasting efforts more accurate, allowing for more cost-efficient planning and dispatch of energy generation and storage. Interested teams are invited to join an informational webinar on Feb. 20 at 3 p.m. ET to learn about deadlines, eligibility, and more.

New Fellowship Program Works to Expand Community Solar Across Income Brackets

Professionals in fields relevant to community engagement, education, and clean energy are encouraged to apply to the Low-Income Community Solar and Energy Assistance Fellowship program by March 6. Fellows will be hosted by Illinois, Washington, DC, or New Mexico agencies, and support the implementation of the Community Solar Subscription Tool, which aims to make community solar subscriptions more accessible to households participating in government-run low-income support programs.

Meet the Solar District Cup Class of 2023

DOE announced that 45 student-led teams from 39 collegiate institutions are finalists in the Solar District Cup and working to complete their concepts for solar-plus-storage solutions for a real-world district or campus. The Solar District Cup seeks to inspire a new generation of students to enter the solar energy workforce, giving them practice with industry tools and procedures that can make a significant impact as they prepare for careers in the renewable energy industry. View the full list of finalists.

Upcoming Deadlines

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

Some Light 🌞 Reading

SETO is Connecting the Dots on Solar Energy

Over the course of 2023, SETO is rolling out its Connect the Dots on Solar Energy campaign to highlight the many benefits of solar energy. The campaign will be a resource hub for the public to learn how solar will positively impact our country’s future and how every individual can access those benefits.

Solar PV Panel row close-up

EnergyTech University Prize Competing Teams Announced

Congratulations to the 184 student teams from 124 schools who have been selected to compete in EnergyTech University Prize 2023! DOE recently announced the competing schools—representing 44 states, Washington D.C., American Samoa, and the Mariana Islands—who will pitch their business plans at regional Explore Events in February in the hopes of earning cash prizes and moving on to the national competition.

EnergyTech UP

Apply for Interconnection Technical Assistance

DOE’s Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X) has up to $750,000 available for technical assistance to support the improvement of interconnection practices and processes for the bulk power system. The technical assistance must be specific to the interconnection of solar, wind, storage, or electric vehicle charging facilities, or a hybrid integration of these technologies. Up to 12 projects will be selected. Apply by March 22 at 4 p.m. ET.

i2X TA

Products & Publications

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power (CSP) Rankine Steam Cycle Reliability

February 9 | 7 p.m. ET
The Electric Power Research Institute is looking to engage with CSP plant operators and support organizations in this webinar about their preliminary work on the reliability of the Rankine cycle of CSP, which is part of a SETO project, CSP Process Enhancement and Refinement For Operations, Reliability, and Maintenance.

Clean Energy Technology Pathways: From Research to Commercialization Webinar

February 14 | 4 p.m. ET
Join SETO’s Marie Mapes in this webinar to learn about a recent analysis (PDF) of four clean energy commercialization case studies, including thin film solar PV.

Workshop: Demystifying Virtual Power Plants (VPP)

February 15 | 1 p.m. ET | Washington, DC
What is a VPP, how are they deployed, and what are the opportunities and challenges for regulators, utilities, and other stakeholders? Learn all that and more at this upcoming, in-person workshop on the fundamentals of VPPs.

Net Load Forecasting Prize Informational Webinar

February 20 | 3 p.m. ET
Join this informational webinar to learn more about the American-Made Net-Load Forecasting Prize.

Webinar: Ecosystem Services of Solar-Pollinator Habitat

February 21 | 1 p.m. ET
Join the AgriSolar Clearinghouse for a webinar series on agrivoltaics, the co-location of solar and agriculture on the same land. Additional webinars are scheduled in the coming months.

Onsite Energy Technical Assistance Partnerships Informational Webinar

February 22 | 1 p.m. ET
Join DOE's Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office for an informational webinar on their new Onsite Energy Technical Assistance Partnerships funding opportunity.

Systems Integration Webinar Series 2023

February 22 | 4 p.m. ET
SETO’s Systems Integration Group is excited to kick off its monthly webinar series with ‘Mechanism Analysis of Dynamic Phenomena in Power Grids with High Penetrations of Inverter-Based Resources.’

National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) Annual Update Webinar

March 7 | 12 p.m. ET
NCSP developed a set of initiatives to support its goal of powering the equivalent of 5 million households with community solar by 2025 and generating $1 billion in household savings. Get a preview of the first Impact Report.

2023 Materials Research Society (MRS) Spring Meeting & Exhibit

April 10-14 | San Francisco, CA
Join SETO at the MRS Spring Meeting to discuss the challenges and opportunities of halide perovskite PV. Registration is required to attend programming. Early bird rates expire on February 9 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Connect the Dots on Solar Energy

Check out this and other featured content from our Connect the Dots on Solar Energy campaign:

Follow along with our Connect the Dots content on social media and join the conversation using the hashtag #ConnectSolar

In Case You Missed It

Webinar recording: Community Power Accelerator Prize Informational Webinar

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