Solar Snapshot: 🏆Solar Prize Round 7 Launches; Workforce Partnerships Project Selections

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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 energy campaign resourcesand more.

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Estimated read time: 5 minutes, 31 seconds

What's New?

DOE Launches American-Made Solar Prize Round 7

The American-Made Solar Prize is back for Round 7! This year, there’s a $4 million prize pool up for grabs for entrepreneurial teams who have creative solutions for making solar more affordable, accessible, and efficient. Teams can compete in the optional Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Contest along the way. New this year is the $100,000 Power-Up Contest, which awards teams whose submissions don’t win the Ready! Contest, but show promise and warrant further development. Register for an informational webinar on July 11 to learn more and apply for the Ready! Contest by September 27.

Projects Selected to Grow an Equitable Solar Energy Workforce

DOE announced $13.5 million for 12 projects aiming to expand the solar energy workforce in underserved communities and create career pathways with good-paying jobs. The projects span more than 13 states and include partners from industry, tribal organizations, unions, community colleges, state and local governments, and other diverse stakeholders. Learn more about the projects selected for the Advancing Equity through Workforce Partnerships funding program and how they grow and support an inclusive workforce.

Workforce Partnerships Funding Program

Upcoming Deadlines

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

Some Light 🌞 Reading

Notice of Intent for Thin-film Technology Funding

DOE announced its intention to release a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for research and development projects to advance thin-film solar technologies. The FOA will fund industrial research and development projects for perovskite and Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) photovoltaics (PV), as well as demonstration projects for CdTe PV.

Solar Prize Winners: Where Are They Now?

We caught up with past Solar Prize winners to learn how the Prize helped them get their innovations and businesses off the ground. Find out what they’ve been up to since winning and learn how the Solar Prize helps innovators reach their goals and build momentum in the solar market.

Solar Prize Winners where are they now

Texas Grid Boosts Reliability and Savings with Novel Solar Forecasting

Learn how SETO-awardee, Maxar Technologies, developed advanced forecasting techniques that allowed Texas grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), to integrate more solar power into its grid, reduce operation costs, and improve overall grid reliability.

Learn the Basics of Solar-Thermal Power and Industrial Processes

Concentrating solar-thermal power can help decarbonize a wide variety of industrial processes, from water desalination to almond and pistachio processing, and has the potential to greatly reduce the U.S. the economy’s carbon footprint.

Apply for an Inclusive Outreach Award through the 2023 Sunny Awards

This year, DOE incorporated the Inclusive Outreach Awards as a category of the 2023 American-Made Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar. Eligible community solar project portfolios or programs can provide a narrative and supporting evidence to demonstrate successful communications campaigns that set and achieve ambitious goals that increase solar energy adoption or solar workforce recruitment and retention. Read the Official Prize Rules on HeroX to learn how to apply by July 14.

Projects Requested to Accelerate CdTe Technology

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has issued a request for proposals for projects in support of the CdTe Accelerator Consortium, which seeks to accelerate the development of CdTe technologies by lowering the cost and increasing the efficiency of the thin-film solar cells. Submit your project proposal by July 17.

Projects Selected for Green Proving Ground Program with GSA

DOE, in collaboration with the U.S. General Services Administration, selected building technologies that will help achieve net-zero carbon buildings. Among the selected projects is an integrated storage technology from Yotta Energy that is the size of a large laptop and installed in place of a ballast beneath a rooftop PV system.

Comment on Rules for Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program

The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in partnership with DOE, released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. This credit program seeks to provide up to a 20% boost on top of the existing 30% investment tax credit for qualified wind or solar energy property in low-income communities. Treasury, the IRS, and the DOE invite stakeholders to submit comments on these rules by June 30. Get more information on the proposed rulemaking and how to submit a comment.

Products & Publications

Upcoming Events

Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X) Meeting Series

June 21 | 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 session, ‘Emerging Cost Allocation Options and Perspectives.’

Informational Webinar: Upcoming DOE Funding for U.S. Thin-Film Solar

June 26 | 1 p.m. ET
SETO is hosting an informational webinar about thin-film technologies of interest and expectations for applicants to their upcoming funding opportunity announcement.

Webinar: U.S. Interconnection Costs & Trends Across Transmission System Operators

June 29 | 1 p.m. ET
Join LBNL for this webinar discussing new briefs analyzing interconnection costs and trends across five U.S. wholesale electricity markets.

Webinar Series: Building with Benefits for Equitable Community Solar

July 5 | 2 p.m. ET
The National Community Solar Partnership is hosting 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 their upcoming webinar, ‘Building with Benefits: Equitable Workforce Development.’

NCSP Meaningful Benefits Webinar Series

Solar Prize Round 7 Informational Webinar

July 11 | 12 p.m. ET
Join DOE for an informational webinar about round 7 of the American-Made Solar Prize.

Connect the Dots on Solar Energy

SETO is connecting the dots on the solar workforce. Learn about the vital role that the U.S. solar workforce plays in the transition to a clean energy grid and how SETO is working to support its development:

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.