Office: Solar Energy Technologies Office  
FOA number: DE-FOA-0002888
Link to apply: Apply on EERE Exchange 
FOA Amount: $6.5 million 

The image shows a solar panel and a concentrating solar-thermal power plant. The text reads "Solar Funding Opportunity: Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS)"


On January 18, 2024, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced the Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS) 2024 funding opportunity. This annual funding opportunity will award $6.5 million for seedling R&D projects that focus on innovative and novel ideas in photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) and are riskier than research ideas based on established technologies.

This funding opportunity is designed to streamline the application process to encourage applications from early-career researchers who have never applied or been selected for a SETO project award. In addition, applicants must submit a plan to broaden the participation of well-qualified members of underrepresented groups on their teams. These efforts will help to achieve the administration’s goal to increase the diversity of those working in applied energy research fields.  

SETO expects to make approximately 14 to 24 awards, each ranging between $250,000 and $400,000. Diverse teams from universities, federally funded research and development centers, nonprofits, community-based organizations, state agencies, local governments, and solar developers are encouraged to apply.  

Topic Areas

SIPS Topic Area 1: CSP (7-12 projects, $400,000 each)
This topic area will support small, focused projects investigating the applicability and robustness of novel ideas in CSP. Responsive concepts include all aspects of CSP plants with thermal energy storage, as well as solar-thermal industrial process heat innovations and solar-thermal fuel systems.

SIPS Topic Area 2: PV (7-12 projects, $250,000 each)
Projects in this topic area will focus on new and emerging areas of PV research that can produce significant results within the first year of performance and, if successful, lay the foundation for continued research. These projects should aim to significantly lower costs and improve the power conversion efficiency, fielded energy output, reuse and recycling of system components, service lifetime, and manufacturability of PV technologies. 

Key Dates

FOA Issue Date: January 18, 2024
Submission Deadline for Full Applications:March 6, 2024 at 5 p.m. ET
Expected Date for EERE Selection Notifications: May 2024
Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations: Summer 2024
Expected FOA Re-Issue Date:Winter 2025

Additional Information