The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) held a workshop on October 12, 2022 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on reaching and engaging with contributors to open-source software (OSS) on DOE-funded projects.

SETO often encourages its non-profit awardees to publish any code developed as part of their projects under an OSS license. Some projects achieve a significant user base, such as the System Advisor Model (SAM) and the pvlib collection of PV modeling functions written in Python. Such software products, and the public, can benefit from the active participation of the community in the form of bug reporting, error-fixing, or substantial code contribution. These contributions can significantly increase the impact of the project in terms of usability, features, user base, and longevity.

Current and past DOE awardees who have managed projects that succeeded in growing an active contributor community, as well as representatives from for-profit and non-profit organizations that have engaged effectively with open-source projects presented on their work. The workshop concluded with a candid discussion among the attendees regarding successful and unsuccessful experiences in maintaining long-lived, active software projects.