Advancing U.S. Thin-Film Solar Photovoltaics funding opportunity

Office: Solar Energy Technologies Office
FOA Number: DE-FOA-0003058
Link to Apply: Apply on EERE Exchange
FOA Amount: $36 million

On September 12, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) released the Advancing U.S. Thin-Film Solar Photovoltaics funding opportunity, which will award $36 million for research, development, and demonstration projects on two major thin-film photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The projects resulting from this funding opportunity will support an equitable transition to a decarbonized electricity system by 2035 and facilitate secure, robust, and reliable integration of solar electricity into the nation’s energy grid.

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is designed to help 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.

The FOA will fund projects on industrial perovskite PV research and development to enable future commercialization. Projects should reach or accelerate the attainment of specific thresholds of efficiency, long-term reliability, manufacturability, and economic viability aligned with targets identified in a prior SETO Request for Information.  

Other projects will advance cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV research, development, demonstration, and commercialization across the materials, equipment, installation, and performance monitoring supply chain to improve the competitiveness of the domestic CdTe PV technology industry.

SETO expects to make approximately two to 15 awards under this FOA ranging from $1 million to $20 million per award. For-profit entities and teams led by for-profit entities are encouraged to apply.

Prior to submitting a full application for this opportunity, a mandatory concept paper is due October 24 at 5 p.m. ET.

Topics

Topic 1: Promoting Research & Development toward Industrial Manufacturing of Early-Stage Perovskite Tandem Photovoltaics (PRIMES Perovskite Tandem PV) – 1-5 projects, $3-20 million each

Projects in this topic will focus on hybrid tandem devices that combine perovskite PV with another PV material. Research and development projects at for-profit companies should achieve specific efficiency, long-term reliability, manufacturability, and economic viability thresholds. SETO will not fund projects that only focus on manufacturing scale-up, but projects that, if successful, may enable pilot-scale manufacturing in the future.

Topic 2: Improving the Market Potential of Advanced Cadmium Telluride Photovoltaics (IMPACdTe PV) – 1-10 projects, $1-5 million each

This topic will provide up to $16 million for research, development, and demonstration projects in the CdTe PV materials, equipment, installation, recycling, and performance monitoring sectors, with a focus on three areas of interest: 

  • Supporting the PV deployment sector’s ability to adapt to a growing number of CdTe modules in PV systems; 
  • Increasing the scale of the domestic CdTe PV supply chain; 
  • Improving CdTe PV technology to maintain competitiveness with c-Si PV. 

Teaming Partner List

DOE is compiling a Teaming Partner List to facilitate the formation of project teams for this FOA. The Teaming Partner List allows organizations that may wish to participate on a project to express their interest to other applicants and to explore potential partnerships.

The Teaming Partner List will be available on the EERE eXCHANGE website and will be regularly updated to reflect new teaming partners who provide their organization’s information.

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS: View the Teaming Partners List by visiting the EERE eXCHANGE homepage and clicking on “Teaming Partners” within the left-hand navigation pane. This page allows users to view published Teaming Partner Lists. To join the Teaming Partner List, submit a request within eXCHANGE. Select the appropriate Teaming Partner List from the drop-down menu and fill in the following information: Investigator Name, Organization Name, Organization Type, Topic Area, Background and Capabilities, Website, Contact Address, Contact Email, and Contact Phone.

DISCLAIMER: By submitting a request to be included on the Teaming Partner List, the requesting organization consents to the publication of the above-referenced information. By facilitating the Teaming Partner List, DOE is not endorsing, sponsoring, or otherwise evaluating the qualifications of the individuals and organizations that are identifying themselves for placement on this Teaming Partner List. DOE will not pay for the provision of any information, nor will it compensate any applicants or requesting organizations for the development of such information.

Webinar

SETO hosted an informational webinar on September 26 to discuss the funding opportunity and the areas of focus. Download the webinar slides and view the recording (password: cAvMZqP6). 

Key Dates

FOA Issue Date:9/12/2023
Informational Webinar:9/26/23 1:00 p.m. ET 
Submission Deadline for Concept Papers: 10/24/23 5:00 p.m. ET 
Expected Date for Concept Paper Encourage/Discourage Decision 11/14/23 
Submission Deadline for Full Applications: 12/18/23 5:00 p.m. ET 
Expected Dates for Applicant Interviews: 1/31/24-2/6/24 
Expected Date for EERE Selection Notifications: Spring 2024 
Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations: Spring 2024 

Additional Information