Solar Snapshot: 💡 Projects to Demonstrate 100% Renewable Grid; New Solar Manufacturing Awardee

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Solar Energy Technologies Office

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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 energy campaign resourcesand more.

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Reach out to us at solar@ee.doe.gov with any inquiries or suggestions.

Estimated read time: 4 minutes, 42 seconds


What's New?

Projects Selected to Demonstrate a 100% Renewable Grid

DOE announced eight projects selected for the $26 million Solar and Wind Grid Services and Reliability Demonstration funding program. Teams will work to demonstrate an electric grid that runs on 100% solar, wind, and battery storage. Learn more about the selected projects.

grid services funding program

Additional Project Selected for the Solar Manufacturing Incubator Funding Program

SETO announced the selection of Planted Solar for a $1.6 million award under the Solar Manufacturing Incubator funding program. Planted Solar is developing a novel ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) system design. Learn more about this and the other projects funded through the program.


Upcoming Deadlines

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

  • Energizing Rural Communities Prize – Individuals and organizations can submit applications for phase one until May 24.
  • Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS) Funding Opportunity – Diverse teams from universities, federally funded research and development centers, nonprofits, community-based organizations, state agencies, local governments, and solar developers are encouraged to apply by June 1.
  • U.S. Solar Manufacturing Workforce Request for Information – Members of the solar industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, manufacturers, suppliers, education and training providers, community-based organizations, and workers’ rights organizations can submit feedback by June 2.
  • OPTIMA Funding Opportunity – Diverse teams of researchers, equipment manufacturers, software vendors, utilities, and independent system operators must submit concept papers by June 5 for the Operation and Planning Tools for Inverter-Based Resource Management and Availability for Future Power Systems (OPTIMA) funding opportunity.
  • The 2023 Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar – Community solar projects and programs can apply by July 14.

Some Light 🌞 Reading

Tackling High Costs and Long Delays for Clean Energy Interconnection

Recent reports by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory highlight the impact of high interconnection costs on the deployment of renewables and storage in the United States and propose solutions to address cost increases and improve the speed and efficiency of the interconnection process.

Enhanced Modeling Protects Solar Panels from the Elements

Reinforcing solar panels against the elements is important to increasing their efficiency and extending their lifetimes. Learn how the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has improved modeling to help researchers and industry personnel develop robust, durable solar panels that are also as thin, lightweight, and cost-effective as possible.

SETO Awardee Receives DOE Funding for its Domestic Manufacturing Facility

CelLink Corporation has come full circle since receiving SETO funding for its novel flex circuit for solar panels and has now received a conditional commitment for a $362 million DOE loan for its U.S. manufacturing facility to support the domestic electric vehicle market.

New $50 Million Investment in Clean Energy for Rural America

The Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations announced a new grant funding opportunity for community-based energy projects located in rural and remote areas across the country. This funding program aims to recognize and address the distinct energy challenges faced by rural communities, increase energy affordability, and promote climate resilience.

Open Public Comment for New PV Recycling Standards

Sustainable Electronics Recycling International has opened a feedback forum on the addition of PV modules to the R2 Standard. The public can leave comments on the new language through June 12.

Ultra-Low Carbon Criteria for Solar Modules

Solar panels are meant to help decarbonize the electric grid, but net carbon footprints can vary based on manufacturing supply chains. The Global Electronics Council announced the addition of criteria to its EPEAT ecolabel system focused on decarbonizing the supply chain for solar panel production.


Upcoming Events

Webinar Series: Building with Benefits for Equitable Community Solar

May 22 | 2 p.m. ET
The National Community Solar Partnership is launching a webinar series to highlight best practices in developing community solar projects and programs that deliver meaningful benefits to subscribers and their communities. Register for the first webinar, titled, ‘Building with Benefits: Greater Household Savings.’

NCSP Meaningful Benefits Webinar Series

Continuing Education Course: Community Solar Program and Subscription Design

May 23-24 | 12 p.m.ET
Learn and discuss the various elements of community solar program design, as well as ownership options relevant to municipal utilities in this new continuing education course presented in partnership with the American Public Power Association and NREL.

Webinar: AgriSolar in the Pacific Northwest

May 24 | 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.

Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X) Meeting Series

May 24 & 31 | 2 p.m. ET
i2X is hosting a new meeting series, the Solution e-Xchange, to facilitate open dialogue across the U.S. electricity ecosystem on important interconnection issues. Join the upcoming sessions:

Systems Integration Webinar Series 2023

May 31 | 4 p.m. ET
SETO’s Systems Integration team is hosting a monthly webinar series. Register for their next webinar, titled, ‘Securing Solar for the Grid (S2G): Cybersecurity for Solar Systems.'

Live Demonstration of the SolarAPP+ Platform

June 6 | 1 p.m. ET
Learn how communities can use the SolarAPP+ automated permitting software for residential solar-plus-storage projects at NREL’s live demonstration event.


Connect the Dots on Solar Energy

SETO is connecting the dots on the renewable grid, health, and the environment. Learn about solar energy’s role in decarbonizing the grid and the many health and environmental benefits awaiting consumers, communities, ecosystems, and economies nationwide:

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


In Case You Missed It


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