Solar Snapshot: 🏆 Solar Prize & Net Load Forecasting Prize Winners; New Thin-Film PV Funding

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Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

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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Estimated read time: 4 minutes, 42 seconds


RE+ 2023 Recap

SETO is back from RE+ 2023, a U.S. clean energy industry conference, and what an exciting four days we had in Las Vegas!

RE+ Collage

2023 Sunny Awards Finalists Announced at Community Solar Workshop

SETO announced the seven finalists of the 2023 Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar. Each finalist received $2,500 and will have a chance to win one of the Grand Prizes.

Prize Winners Announced

Solar Prize Round 6
SETO’s Dr. Becca Jones-Albertus announced the two winners of the American-Made Solar Prize Round 6 after a live demo day event where teams presented their solutions to a panel of judges. ReJoule and Latimer Controls each won $500k, and ReJoule also won the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Contest prize of $50k for expanding solar access to underserved communities.

Solar Prize Rd6 winners

Net Load Forecasting Prize
Jeff Marootian, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and SETO’s Dr. Guohui Yuan announced the winners of the American-Made Net Load Forecasting Prize, which is designed to increase adoption of the state-of-the-art in net load forecasting. Reliable Autonomy won first place ($200k), Shifted Energy won second place ($150k), and Teraton Partners HQ won third place ($100k). Three runners-up received $50k each.

NLF Prize winners

New DOE Report on Virtual Power Plants

DOE announced the release of the Pathways to Commercial Liftoff for Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) report, underscoring the critical role that VPPs need to play in the Nation’s affordable, reliable, and clean energy future.

Funding Notice: Advancing U.S. Thin-Film Solar Photovoltaics (PV)

SETO announced a $36 million funding opportunity for projects on metal halide perovskites and cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV technologies. This funding opportunity is designed to enable domestic manufacturing of affordable solar hardware, increase the portion of solar hardware value kept in the U.S. economy, and promote American leadership of thin-film PV technologies. Register for an informational webinar on September 26 at 1 p.m. ET and submit a mandatory concept paper by October 24.

SETO Advancing U.S. Thin-Film Solar Photovoltaics Funding Opportunity

What's New?

New Funding for Concentrating Solar-thermal Power (CSP) Fuel Technology

DOE announced the $30 million Solar-thermal Fuels and Thermal Energy Storage via Concentrated Solar-thermal Energy funding opportunity to accelerate the large-scale development and deployment of CSP technology to decarbonize the U.S. economy and energy grid. Register for an informational webinar on October 16 at 1 p.m. ET and submit a mandatory concept paper by October 20.

Solar Fuels FOA

Upcoming Deadlines

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


Some Light 🌞 Reading

Apply to the Renewable Energy Siting through Technical Engagement and Planning (R-STEP) Program

The R-STEP program seeks to expand the decision-making capacity and expertise of state and local governments around large-scale renewable energy planning, siting, and permitting. Collaboratives can apply to this funding program until November 3.

New Success Story: Nevados Tackles Siting Challenges with Innovative Solar Trackers

Not just any piece of land works for a large-scale solar array: it must be sunny, relatively flat, and close to transmission lines so it can be connected to the grid. These specific requirements can make siting solar arrays challenging. Learn how SETO awardee, Nevados Engineering, is helping overcome the challenges of solar array siting with their innovative solar trackers.

A Faster, Cheaper Way to Give Solar Panels a Clean Bill of Health

With a bright red light, scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory demonstrated a new way to check solar modules for damage after extreme weather. The Durable Module Materials Consortium has developed a prototype device for faster, cheaper inspections of large PV systems. See all the details in a new video!

NREL DuraMAT Video

Upcoming Events

Informational Webinar: Advancing U.S. Thin-Film Solar PV Funding Opportunity

September 26 | 1 p.m. ET
Register for this webinar to learn more about the Advancing U.S. Thin-Film Solar PV funding opportunity.

Systems Integration Webinar

September 27 | 4 p.m. ET
Join SETO’s Systems Integration team for a webinar titled, 'New Hybrid High-Voltage Direct Current-Connected Photovoltaic Plant Integration (multi-port): Electromagnetic Transient Analysis & Research Outcomes.'

Workshop: 2023 Photovoltaic Systems

October 12 | 8 a.m. ET | Orlando, FL
Register for this day-long workshop about SETO’s PV systems durability research. Attend presentations, participate in guided discussions, and help generate ideas for future research.


Connect the Dots on Solar Energy

SETO is connecting the dots on rooftop solar. Learn about the role of rooftop solar energy systems in the United States’ transition to a clean energy grid and how SETO is working to support American residents and companies join in the journey to a green energy future:

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.