On May 5, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced the Foundational Agrivoltaic Research for Megawatt Scale (FARMS) funding opportunity, which will award $8 million in funding for projects that examine how agrivoltaics can scale up to provide new economic opportunities to farmers, rural communities, and the solar industry. Agrivoltaics is defined as agricultural production, such as crop production, livestock grazing, and pollinator habitat that exist underneath solar panels and/or in between rows of solar panels.
Projects will conduct a range of activities, including integrated agriculture-energy impact studies examining how agrivoltaic designs impact both agriculture production and energy production. Some projects will study how agrivoltaics can integrate into existing or enable new social and economic structures, while others will develop resources that will lower the barriers of entry to agrivoltaics, making it easier for agricultural producers and solar developers to benefit from these opportunities.
SETO’s goal is to reduce barriers to the deployment of utility- and community-scale solar energy necessary to meet the Biden administration’s goals for equitably decarbonizing the electricity sector by 2035. Scaling up the co-location of solar energy and agriculture has the potential to reduce land-use conflicts and provide additional benefits to farmers, rural communities, and the solar industry.
Areas of Interest
DOE expects to make between 4 and 6 awards under FARMS, each ranging from $1-2 million. SETO is interested in projects that partner with farmers who are pursuing climate-smart and sustainable agriculture and are considering agrivoltaics to enhance the economic efficiency and sustainability of these farms. Additionally, SETO is interested in projects that offer economic benefits to underserved communities in these farming areas.
This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) has three areas of interest:
- Integrated agriculture-energy impact studies that investigate how agrivoltaic designs impact both agriculture production and energy production;
- Socioeconomics of agrivoltaics research that studies how agrivoltaics can fit into existing agricultural communities and economies or enable new ones; and
- Resources for replicable and scalable agrivoltaics that lower the barrier of entry to agrivoltaics, making it easier for interested agricultural producers and solar developers to benefit from the opportunities that agrivoltaics provides.
Teaming Partner List
To facilitate the formation of teams, SETO is providing a Teaming Partner List where interested parties who would like to apply to the FOA, but not as the prime applicant, may 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 May 12 to discuss the funding program and the areas of focus. Watch a recording of the webinar (Password: FARMSsolar2022).
|FOA Issue Date:||5/5/2022|
|Informational Webinar:||5/12/2022 3 p.m. ET|
|Submission Deadline for Letter of Intent:||6/1/2022 5 p.m. ET|
|Submission Deadline for Concept Papers:||6/22/2022 5 p.m. ET|
|Submission Deadline for Full Applications:||8/30/2022 5 p.m. ET|
|Expected Submission Deadline for Replies to Reviewer Comments:||9/27/2022 5 p.m. ET|
|Expected Date for EERE Selection Notifications:||November 2022|
|Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations:||November 2022 – January 2023|
- Download the full funding opportunity on the EERE Exchange website.
- For FOA-specific support, contact email@example.com.
- 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 SETO’s newsletter to stay current with our latest news.