***Selections for the Deploying Solar with Wildlife and Ecosystem Services Benefits (SolWEB) Funding Program were announced on Oct. 17, 2022. View the list of projects.***
On March 1, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the Deploying Solar with Wildlife and Ecosystem Services Benefits (SolWEB) funding opportunity, which will award up to $15 million for innovative solutions and strategies that maximize benefits and minimize impacts to wildlife and ecosystems from solar energy infrastructure.
DOE is interested in projects that will produce results with broad relevance to solar stakeholders by establishing methods, technologies, models, best management practices, or resources that facilitate ground-mounted photovoltaic energy generation, including utility-scale and community solar, or concentrating solar-thermal power that is compatible with surrounding wildlife. DOE is also interested in assessing and optimizing ecosystem benefits that solar energy facilities can provide, such as soil formation, pollination of food crops, and carbon sequestration.
These research activities will help reduce barriers, costs, and timelines for the deployment of large-scale solar energy necessary to meet the Biden Administration’s goals for achieving a decarbonized electricity sector by 2035. DOE’s recent Solar Futures Study found that meeting the goal could require as much as 5.7 million acres of land for solar energy development. While that is less than 0.3% of the contiguous land area in the United States, this expansion will increase the interactions between solar energy facilities and the surrounding environment and those interactions need to be better understood.
Topic Area 1: Wildlife-Solar Energy Interactions – 3-6 projects, $1-2M each
Projects in this topic area will develop innovative methods or technologies for monitoring wildlife-solar interactions, maximizing benefits and mitigate adverse impacts on wildlife, or building data-sharing infrastructure regarding wildlife at solar energy facilities.
Topic Area 2: Ecosystem Services from Solar Facilities – 3-6projects, $500,000-$2M each
Projects in this topic area will characterize, quantify, and/or optimize the ecosystem benefits that solar energy facilities can provide, such as soil formation, pollination of food crops, and carbon sequestration. Projects will improve solar energy siting practices by developing models, tools, or methodologies for assessing the cost and value of these benefits in solar energy deployment decisions.
To facilitate the formation of teams, SETO is providing a forum where interested parties can add themselves to a Teaming Partner List, which allows organizations that may wish to apply to the FOA, but not as the prime applicant, to express interest to potential partners.
Teaming Partner List
SETO strongly encourages teaming among multiple stakeholders across academia, industry, National Laboratories, and technical disciplines. Teams that include multiple partners are preferred over applications that include a single organization. Teams that include representation from diverse entities such as, but not limited to, minority-serving institutions (MSI), including historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) and other minority institutions (OMI), minority business enterprises, minority-owned businesses, woman-owned businesses, veteran-owned businesses, or entities located in an underserved community are encouraged. To facilitate the formation of teams, SETO is providing a forum where interested parties can add themselves to the Teaming Partner List, which allows organizations that may wish to apply to the FOA, but not as the prime applicant, to express interest to potential partners.
Any organization that would like to be included on this list should submit the following information in Excel format to email@example.com with the subject line “Teaming Partner Information”: organization name, contact name, contact address, contact email, contact phone, organization type, area of technical expertise, brief description of capabilities, and topic area.
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 enabling and publishing the Teaming Partner List, EERE is not endorsing, sponsoring, or otherwise evaluating the qualifications of the individuals and organizations that are self-identifying themselves for placement on this Teaming Partner List. EERE will not pay for the provision of any information, nor will it compensate any applicants or requesting organizations for the development of such information.
SETO hosted an informational webinar on March 8, 2022 to discuss the funding program and the areas of focus. Watch a recording of the webinar (password: Solweb2022).
|FOA Issue Date:||3/1/2022|
|Informational Webinar:||3/8/2022 2 p.m. ET|
|Submission Deadline for Concept Papers:||4/11/2022 5 p.m. ET|
|Submission Deadline for Full Applications:||6/21/2022 5 p.m. ET|
|Expected Date for EERE Selection Notifications:||9/1/2022|
|Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations:||September 2022 – December 2022|
- Download the full funding opportunity and access the teaming partner list on the EERE Exchange website.
- For FOA-specific support, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sign up for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) email list to get notified of new EERE funding opportunities. Also sign up for our newsletter to stay current with the latest SETO news.