The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in collaboration with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), issued a request for information on Oct. 11, 2022, to identify solar technologies that will help achieve net-zero carbon buildings. Specifically, the RFI seeks input from industry on technologies that help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of commercial buildings, improve grid resiliency, and have significant potential for equitable and broad adoption in the U.S. marketplace. Responses are due Dec. 9, 2022

The request for information is part of the Green Proving Ground (GPG) program, which leverages GSA’s real estate portfolio to evaluate innovative, American-Made building technologies. The program aims to drive down operational costs in federal buildings and help lead market transformation through the deployment of new technologies, including solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies. GSA plans to announce the technologies selected from the submissions in April 2023.

Objectives

GPG evaluates next-generation building technologies in real-world operational settings to recommend the most promising for deployment on federal properties. The program supports the goals of the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to accelerate the development and deployment of solar technology to support an equitable transition to a decarbonized electricity system by 2035 and decarbonized energy sector by 2050.

Approach

Each fall, GPG issues a request for innovative building technologies. Technologies selected are installed on federally or privately owned commercial buildings and evaluated under dynamic, real-world conditions. Evaluations under the program help inform public- and private-sector investment decisions on how to improve energy efficiency, accelerating commercialization as well as adoption within the federal government and the commercial building industry.

Fiscal Year 2022 Selections

ROCKING SOLAR
Location: Monroe, OH
Project Summary: Commercial buildings consume 35% of U.S. electricity. The project develops a solar panel tracker system that will increase commercial rooftop solar PV production by adapting a proven utility tracking technology with a new low-profile rocker design that reduces friction, motor size, and the cost of sun-tracking. Rocking Solar competed in Round 4 of the American-Made Solar Prize and was selected as a finalist for its tracker system.

EV ARC by Beam
Location: San Diego, CA
Project Summary: The EV ARC™ is a transportable, solar powered electric vehicle (EV) charging station that fits in a standard parking space. It integrates several options for battery storage and offers multiple EV charging options with the option to integrate on or off the grid. The EV ARC™ can stay in place indefinitely to provide routine EV charging. This selection is part of the Applied Innovation Learning Lab (AILL), a new program launched by GSA in FY22 and run through the GPG program to create EV hubs and test EV tech across the nation.

Learn more about SETO’s other funding programs.