In addition to its own solar energy research and development funding programs, the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) funds research and development projects in collaboration with other U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) offices. Likewise, other DOE offices contribute funding to SETO’s projects. The following are DOE initiatives to which SETO provides funding and project management.
For Entrepreneurs and Private Companies
The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs are competitive funding opportunities that encourage U.S.-based small businesses to engage in high-risk, innovative research and technology development with the potential for commercialization. The DOE Office of Science manages these programs and awards projects in technology areas across the department. In SETO, funding is awarded to companies that are working to advance the affordability, reliability, and value of solar technologies on to the grid.
The Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) is a competitive laboratory funding opportunity designed to help commercialize promising energy technologies developed at DOE National Laboratories. The DOE Office of Technology Transitions administers TCF, which is part of a set of initiatives to foster stronger partnerships among DOE facilities, private companies, and other entities that bring energy technologies to the marketplace. In SETO, funding is awarded to projects focused on bringing solar energy technologies to market.
The American-Made Challenges are prize competitions that incentivize U.S. entrepreneurs to advance commercializable technology ideas to strengthen U.S. leadership in innovation and domestic manufacturing. These challenges seek to lower the barriers to reaching manufacturing scale while helping connect entrepreneurs with the private sector and DOE National Laboratories for partnerships. The American-Made Solar Prize and Solar Desalination Prize are among these challenges.
For National Laboratories
The Grid Modernization Lab Call consists of National Lab projects that are working to enable grid operators and owners to measure, analyze, predict, protect, and control the grid of the future. It is part of the Grid Modernization Initiative, a DOE and partner collaboration that accelerates the development of technology, modeling analysis, tools, and frameworks for a modernized grid.
The Durable Module Materials Consortium (DuraMAT) is working to accelerate the development and deployment of durable, high-performance materials for photovoltaic modules to lower the cost of solar electricity and increase field lifetime. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory administers DuraMAT, which is part of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Energy Materials Network (EMN). EMN is designed to give U.S. entrepreneurs and manufacturers a competitive edge in the renewable energy industry.