SunPower, Stion, SolarReserve, UtilityAPI, EnergySage and others win funds to advance solar innovation, as agency faces cuts under Trump budget.
The $46.2 million in grant money comes from the DOE’s Sunshot Initiative, a national effort in support of adopting solar energy and making it more affordable to all Americans through research and development efforts in collaboration with public and private research institutions.
The money will be partly matched by the 48 projects that have been awarded to laboratories and universities, bringing solar PV, solar thermal, energy storage and inverter technologies closer to market. The projects are coming from two programs — “Photovoltaics Research and Development 2: Modules and Systems (PVRD2), aimed at new PV technologies; and Technology to Market 3 (T2M3), a broader kettle of early-stage solar technology research.”
“These projects ensure there’s a pipeline of knowledge, human resources, transformative technology solutions and research to support the industry,” Charlie Gay, director of the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative, said in the statement released on Wednesday, reports Bloomberg.
In the DOE statement, readers will find the full list of universities and research laboratories, along with their award grants and a summary of the projects they are working on.
Among the 28 awards for the PV Research and Development 2/Modules and Systems program, $225,000 went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a two-dimensional material based layer transfer for low-cost, high-throughput, high-efficiency solar cells.
Researchers are using a single crystal substrate coated with a single layer of graphene to achieve the required cost reduction that helps to make III-V solar cells a realistic option for commercial use.
Stanford University in California was awarded $225,000 for a project they are working on to develop a low-cost scaffold-reinforced perovskite solar module with integrated light management. In May, Digital Journal reported on the recent breakthroughs that focused on perovskite sheets and their unique ability — the structure of the sheets are self-organising and stand on their edge, greatly increasing their efficiency.
The research focuses on a revolutionary new compound solar cell module design based on the recent breakthrough—using an innovative patterned hexagonal reinforcing scaffold filled with perovskite.
One of the 20 awards in the T2M3 program is $2 million that went to SolarReserve for the development of cost reduction strategies for molten-salt thermal energy storage for concentrating solar power towers. And, $1.6 million went to EnergySage for the development of a scalable online solar marketplace that enables consumers to freely choose solar equipment, financing, and installation options.