SETO FY2018 – Photovoltaics

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The Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 (SETO FY2018) funding program addresses the affordability, flexibility, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. This program funds early-stage research projects that advance both solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) technologies and supports efforts that prepare the solar workforce for the industry’s future needs.

On October 23, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it would provide $53 million in funding for 53 projects in the SETO FY2018 funding program. Of those projects, 31 will focus on photovoltaics research and development. Read the announcement.


Projects in the photovoltaics research and development topic support early-stage research that increase performance, reduce materials and processing costs, and improve reliability of PV cells, modules, and systems to enable the industry to achieve its 2030 cost goals.

Within the PV topic, the office has also selected projects that will develop and test new ways to accelerate the integration of emerging technologies into the solar industry. These Innovative Pathway projects do not fund individual technologies along their pathway to market, but instead focus on improving the pathway itself.


Projects in this funding program will strengthen the innovation ecosystem across the country and work toward achieving the office’s 2030 cost targets. Technical projects will work toward developing new technologies and solutions capable of lowering solar electricity costs for PV, while Innovative Pathway projects will work toward creating new ways to overcome technology transfer challenges.


-- Award and cost share amounts are subject to change pending negotiations --

Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS): Photovoltaics

University of Texas at Dallas

Project Name: Higher Throughput, Lower Cost Processing of Flexible Perovskite Solar Cells by Photonic Curing
Location: Richardson, TX
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $69,113
Principal Investigator: Julia Hsu
Project Summary: In collaboration with NovaCentrix, this team will apply photonic curing to the thermal annealing process needed to form and optimize the layers in a perovskite solar cell. Photonic curing can replace the lengthy, costly, and energy-intensive conventional heating methods that are not compatible with high-throughput manufacturing on flexible substrates. The goal of this project is to increase manufacturing throughput and lower manufacturing costs while maintaining the performance metrics needed to establish a clear path toward the $.03 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2030 for utility-scale solar.

Washington State University

Project Name: Preparation and Evaluation of N-type CdSeTe as an Absorber in Thin-Film CdTe PV
Location: Pullman, WA
DOE Award Amount: $198,578
Cost Share: $49,645
Principal Investigator: Kelvin Lynn
Project Summary: The power-conversion efficiency of conventional p-type cadmium telluride absorbers is limited by relatively poor electronic properties, including low carrier lifetime, low doping levels, and challenges with back contact formation. This project aims to produce and evaluate n-type doped cadmium selenium telluride (CdSeTe) thin films that have the potential to exceed the performance of conventional absorber layers while maintaining the low manufacturing costs inherent to thin-film-module architectures. The team will use close-space sublimation and newly developed feedstock materials, followed by heat treatments in the presence of carefully chosen gases to obtain high-quality n-type CdTeSe with the enhanced electronic properties needed to create high-efficiency thin-film solar cells.

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Project Name: Improving Energy Yield in Photovoltaic Modules With Photonic Structures
Location: Minneapolis, MN
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Vivian Ferry
Project Summary: Silicon-based photovoltaic modules operate at elevated temperatures, which can reduce the lifetime of a photovoltaic module and contribute to thermal degradation. One of the major sources of elevated temperature is the low-energy infrared light that is converted to heat within the cell. This project aims to replace the silicon nitride antireflection coating that’s used on solar cells with spectrally selective photonic structures. The new design will enable the structures to capture usable photons while rejecting those that lack the energy to produce electricity, resulting in improved energy yield for solar cells. The structures will be integrated on the top surface of the cell to avoid damage from weathering and will be fabricated with fewer layers to minimize cost.

Columbia University

Project Name: Comparative Life-Cycle Analysis of Scalable Single-Junction and Tandem Perovskite Solar Cell Systems
Location: New York, NY
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Vasilis Fthenakis
Project Summary: This project will investigate the life-cycle impact of lead used in perovskite solar cells, and quantify environmental and health risks related to its use while exploring lead alternatives for large-scale manufacturing. The team will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the energy and resource requirements of perovskite photovoltaic systems and manufacturing within an established life-cycle-analysis framework. The team will also examine the potential for solvent recovery and reuse and end-of-life management for perovskite solar cells in order to better understand its environmental impact. The results of this project will help the industry make scalable and sustainable decisions while the efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells are improved.

Colorado School of Mines 2

Project Name: Multi-Messenger In-situ Tolerance Optimization of Mixed Perovskite Photovoltaics
Location: Golden, CO
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Xerxes Steirer
Project Summary: This project will evaluate perovskite photovoltaic degradation mechanisms involving water and oxygen exposure, electrical bias, light, elevated temperature, and the loss of volatile gases. The team will perform experiments on degraded hybrid perovskites and evaluate potential solutions to prevent degradation and power loss in perovskite solar cells. Water and gas interactions with perovskite films will be probed to reveal any relevant surface bonding, activation energies, and chemical reactions. The resulting information will further the design of highly stable perovskite materials for use in future photovoltaic modules and systems.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1

Project Name: Controlling the Recombination Activity of Dislocations in III-V Solar Cells
Location: Urbana, IL
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Minjoo Lee
Project Summary: Existing III-V manufacturing methods, such as epitaxial liftoff, that attempt to reuse costly III-V and germanium substrates over many growth cycles are too expensive to enable manufacturing at scale. One way to overcome this issue is to grow them on low-cost substrates such as silicon. This team will perform the first systematic study of III-V solar cells grown on silicon surfaces decorated with beryllium, carbon, germanium, tellurium, and other impurities in order to identify conditions that will render dislocations and other structural defects less harmful to solar cell performance. Reducing the impact of defects would improve device performance and enable the use of low-cost growth substrates in the fabrication of high-performance III-V cells and modules. 

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2

Project Name: Wide-Bandgap Polycrystalline III-Vs as Transparent, Carrier-Selective Heterojunction Contacts for Silicon Photovoltaics
Location: Urbana, IL
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Minjoo Lee
Project Summary: This project will test visibly transparent III-V materials grown at low temperatures for use within the front contact of a silicon solar cell. The cell will have heterojunction contacts, which are state-of-the-art contacts that can efficiently extract voltage from silicon solar cells at high rates. The team will grow heavily doped layers of aluminum gallium phosphide and aluminum indium phosphide on textured silicon solar cells to explore the doping and defects within the cell. The team will then characterize the surface passivation and contact resistance of the most promising layers and make complete photovoltaic cells with the heterojunction contacts.

University of Washington 1

Project Name: In-situ Photophysical Monitors and Corrective Algorithms for Photovoltaic Film Deposition and Rapid Thermal Processing in Scalable Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing
Location: Seattle, WA
DOE Award Amount: $198,806
Cost Share: $50,329
Principal Investigator: Devin MacKenzie
Project Summary: Low-cost, high-throughput solution processing could substantially reduce thin-film photovoltaic (PV) costs, but it requires new PV manufacturing lines using roll-to-roll processing. This project will develop and use gas flow-stabilized slot-die deposition heads and in situ, real-time optical tools to characterize the roll-to-roll deposition process used to create these PV cells. The team will use fiber-based optical probes, time-resolved photoluminescence, and light-scattering probes to better understand, for the first time, the critical phase transformations and sintering processes needed to create perovskites with roll-to-roll processing. The team will develop real-time corrective algorithms for the deposition process and use these tools to optimize roll-to-roll deposition methods for perovskites and other thin-film PV materials. 

Arizona State University 1

Project Name: Impact of Undoped Substrates on High Performance Silicon Solar Cells
Location: Tempe, AZ
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Andre Augusto
Project Summary: This team will investigate the potential advantages of using undoped silicon wafers to make high-performance solar cells. The team will examine silicon heterojunction cell characteristics built using wafers with a range of low n- and p-type dopant concentrations, and will closely observe the transition from low-level to high-level injection in order to better understand the device physics of these cells. These studies could impact the manufacturing yield of Czochralski-grown wafers for which dopant concentration varies along the length of the ingot, and will help to better understand the effects of doping levels on light and polarization-induced degradation mechanisms. This research aims to lower the levelized cost of energy by improving photovoltaic cell and ingot manufacturing yield, silicon cell power output, and module reliability.


Project Name: Bifacial PV Module Energy Modeling Validation Study
Location: Oakland, CA
DOE Award Amount: $200,000
Cost Share: $50,000
Principal Investigator: Tara Doyle
Project Summary: Bifacial photovoltaic (PV) module suppliers are conducting their own efficiency tests in an effort to demonstrate energy gains to customers, but these tests often lack third-party review. To enable more accurate and bankable solar production forecasts for bifacial modules, this team will establish an outdoor test that compares modeled energy from bifacial models to measured energy generation in common types of ground or roof coverings. These tests will account for multiple scenarios for bifacial modules, including placement on painted flat roofs, placement in fields with low-lying vegetation, and soiling from dirt or sand. The team will publish the results of this analysis to improve modeling efforts, energy-yield estimates, and bankability for bifacial modules on the market.

Increasing Affordability, Reliability, and Manufacturability of PV Cells, Modules, and Systems

Princeton University

Project Name: Identifying Impacts of Process, Precursors and Defects in Metal Halide Perovskite Solar Cells
Location: Princeton, NJ
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Barry Rand
Project Summary: In an effort to improve the energy yield and stability of metal halide perovskite photovoltaic solar cells, this project aims to improve material selection and fabrication techniques for producing these cells. The team will identify interactions that can occur in precursor solutions or at solid interfaces that result in defects, either spontaneously or under solar cell-relevant stresses such as light, heat, atmosphere, and voltage. The team will then establish targeted strategies and processes to mitigate perovskite cell degradation by selecting optimal precursor solutions and creating robust absorbers needed to make these high-efficiency solar cells.

University of Michigan

Project Name: Semi-Transparent, Reliable and Efficient Scalable Organic Solar Cells for Building Integrated Applications
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
DOE Award Amount: $1,300,000
Cost Share: $325,474
Principal Investigator: Stephen Forrest
Project Summary: Organic photovoltaics (OPV) are an ideal solution for semi-transparent building integrated photovoltaics for windows, building facades, and rooftops. This project will produce organic solar cells with a 15% power conversion efficiency that are 50% transparent and have a projected 20-year lifetime for building-integrated photovoltaics. This would nearly double the increase in performance compared to typical power-conversion-efficiency values at similar levels of optical transparency. The team will also use its roll-to-roll film-growth technology to continue to improve manufacturing yields and the scalability of OPV.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Project Name: Technology Development for Greater than 23% Efficient P-PERC Solar Cells
Location: Atlanta, GA
DOE Award Amount: $700,000
Cost Share: $175,000
Principal Investigator: Ajeet Rohatgi
Project Summary: This project will develop key technologies to achieve commercial-size passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) cells with a 23% efficiency rate from a current rate of about 22%. The team will integrate multiple technologies to create the solar cell, including spatially controlled doping profiles, passivated rear contacts, advanced annealing treatments, and high-resolution screen printing. Together, these technologies will reduce carrier recombination rates in the junction region, at the back surface field, and at the interfaces within each contact while also minimizing front shading and rear light absorption. To improve solar cell performance, the team will use the same process on n-type silicon to produce rear junction n-type cells with spatially controlled front surface fields.

Colorado State University

Project Name: Doping CdTe and CdSeTe for Higher Efficiency
Location: Fort Collins, CO
DOE Award Amount: $750,000
Cost Share: $187,500
Principal Investigator: Walajabad Sampath
Project Summary: This will significantly enhance the voltage and efficiency of cadmium telluride and cadmium selenium telluride solar cells through p-type doping with group-V atoms. Colorado State University, with help from multiple partners including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and First Solar, will focus on using arsenic to increase the density of holes in the absorber by two orders of magnitude. The team will seek to increase the cell voltage by 100 millivolts and improve cell efficiency from 3% to 22%. The key to success will be the activation of a major portion of the dopant atoms so that they each contribute a hole to the absorber while minimizing the recombination that commonly results from nonactivated dopant atoms. The team will ensure that its cell-fabrication steps are compatible with low-cost, large-scale manufacturing.

kWh Analytics

Project Name: Deciphering Degradation: Machine Learning on Real-World Performance Data
Location: San Francisco, CA
DOE Award Amount: $1,250,000
Cost Share: $500,000
Principal Investigator: Adam Shinn
Project Summary: Degradation rates are generally assumed to be the same across all photovoltaic modules leading to market inefficiencies. kWh Analytics will build a machine-learning model using its industry-wide data repository and  generation data from about 20% of America’s operating photovoltaic (PV) plants, to quantify degradation rates for PV modules and analyze the impact that various materials and components have on these rates. This will enable insurers to incorporate these insights into their insurance premium pricing, which introduces a price signal to the market that benefits modules that use high-quality materials and components.

Stanford University

Project Name: Accelerated Scaling to Rapid Open-Air Fabrication of Durable Perovskite Solar Modules
Location: San Francisco, CA
DOE Award Amount: $1,496,069
Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Reinhold Dauskardt
Project Summary: This project will fabricate and encapsulate large-area and durable perovskite solar modules using a scalable open-air processing route that validates the reliability of the cell by using accelerated testing and thin-film metrics. The team’s scalable processing of durable perovskite and inorganic transport layers provides a platform to make series-integrated high-voltage perovskite solar modules entirely in open air, eliminating unstable organic transport layers. The work will mitigate barriers to wide-scale deployment of perovskite technology, namely module manufacturing and reliability, and eventually allow photovoltaic-generated electricity to reach costs as low as $0.02 per kilowatt hour.

University of Washington 2

Project Name: Machine Learning Assisted Enhancement of Perovskite Stability and Performance
Location: Seattle, WA
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Hugh Hillhouse
Project Summary: High photovoltaic power conversion efficiency devices with low year-over-year degradation rates, like hybrid perovskites, have the potential to lower costs if their stability and phase segregation can be improved. In order to better determine the maximum open-circuit voltage and photocurrent a hybrid perovskite solar cell is capable of generating, this team will develop photoluminescence (PL) video methods that reveal the role of micron-scale spatial PL heterogeneity and millisecond-time-scale PL intensity flickering in material degradation and phase segregation. When combined with large composition libraries and different testing environments, they yield enormous data sets. The team plans to mine this data with advanced machine-learning algorithms in order to generate a predictive model of degradation for perovskite solar cells. 

Arizona State University 2

Project Name: Bringing High-Efficiency Silicon Solar Cells With Heterojunction Contacts to Market with a New, Versatile Deposition Technique
Location: Tempe, AZ
DOE Award Amount: $1,000,000
Cost Share: $250,000
Principal Investigator: Zachary Holman
Project Summary: This project aims to enable manufacturable, high-performance silicon solar cells through an innovative deposition technique that will improve cell efficiency and reduce equipment and material costs. In order to arrive at the ideal contact stack that’s transparent and can easily be made with inexpensive tool and precursors, the silicon community has been experimenting with stacking new materials within solar cells. The team will develop and use a gas-flow sputter source that will be coupled with an aerosol-driven assembly tool. The team aims to use the tool to deposit any type of metal oxide carrier-selective layer or transparent conductive oxide layer with full control of the material composition, without damaging the underlying layers. 

Cypress Creek Renewables

Project Name: Capturing the Full Benefits of Bifacial Modules to Achieve an LCOE of $0.03 per Kilowatt-hour through a Regional Optimization of the Electrical Architecture
Location: San Francisco, CA
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Cost Share: $396,310
Principal Investigator: Jenya Meydbray
Project Summary: Bifacial photovoltaic modules can yield efficiency gains, but the solar industry has been unable to accurately quantify the benefits of these modules at the system level, leading to uncertain cost estimates and lower adoption rates for solar energy systems that need financing. This project seeks to validate existing performance models for bifacial modules and quantify the impacts of system location, tracker height, module technology, and system architecture on bifacial efficiency gains and the projected levelized cost of energy (LCOE). This project aims to improve investor confidence by providing new data on bifacial system performance gains across the United States and will validate a holistic system architecture that allows system integrators to meet or exceed the LCOE target of $.03 per kilowatt-hour by 2030.

Case Western Reserve University

Project Name: Towards 50 Year Lifetime PV Modules: Glass/Backsheet vs. Double Glass
Location: Cleveland, OH
DOE Award Amount: $1,350,000
Cost Share: $337,500
Principal Investigator: Roger French
Project Summary: In order to enable photovoltaic (PV) modules to have a 50-year lifetime, researchers are exploring PV modules with double glass or glass/backsheet designs. To reduce degradation rates and extend the service lifetime of these high efficiency modules, researchers must better understand the operational conditions of solar cells within these modules. This project will use data from stepwise accelerated exposures and real-world PV systems to quantify the impact of PV module architecture and packaging materials on the degradation rates of double glass and glass/backsheet modules. Identifying and mitigating the degradation modes related to packaging materials and architectures for double glass and glass/backsheet modules could help to lower degradation rates toward 0.2% per year and lower the levelized cost of energy.  

University of Colorado Boulder

Project Name: Mini-Modules Made with Monolithically Integrated All-Perovskite Tandems
Location: Boulder, CO
DOE Award Amount: $1,499,764
Cost Share: $375,235
Principal Investigator: Michael McGehee
Project Summary: In collaboration with perovskite researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, this team aims to make monolithic two-terminal tandem solar cells that have a 27% efficiency level and are constructed entirely from thin-film perovskite light absorbers. This would represent a roughly 20% relative increase in power-conversion efficiency over the current best-performing single-junction perovskite solar cells.  The project will use scalable deposition methods such as slot-die coating, sputtering, chemical vapor deposition and thermal evaporation to fabricate perovskite solar cells that degrade by less than 10% after 1,000 hours of use.

University of Washington 3

Project Name: CIGS Technology Advancement via Fundamental Modeling of Defect/Impurity Interactions
Location: Seattle, WA
DOE Award Amount: $681,016
Cost Share: $179,090
Principal Investigator: Scott Dunham
Project Summary: Copper indium gallium selenide is a promising material for high performance, low-cost thin-film photovoltaics. In order to improve conversion efficiency and lower manufacturing costs, researchers need to better understand interactions between mineral impurities and native defects, as well as how both couple to alloy ordering and phase separation within these cells. This team will use density functional theory calculations to predict distributions of defects and defect complexes, estimate reaction and diffusion rates, and perform simulations to predict alloy, impurity, and defect ordering. The team will test the resulting model and process in order to optimize device performance, reliability, and cost.

Collaborative Cross-Cutting PV Research

Amtech Systems, Inc.

Project Name: Field-Effect Passivation by Desired Charge Injection into SiNx Passivation in Crystalline-Silicon Solar Cells
Location: Tempe, AZ
DOE Award Amount: $1,120,000
Cost Share: $280,000
Principal Investigator: Jeong-Mo Hwang
Project Summary: This team developed a low-cost plasma-charging technology that can be used for field-effect passivation in crystalline silicon solar cells and to increase efficiency. The technology uses an inexpensive inert gas plasma that does not cause film deposition or corrosion inside the chamber during charging and does not require regular cleaning of the chamber. To enable the commercial use of this tool, the team will work to mitigate the loss of injected charges during the high-temperature metal-firing process and increase the stability of injected charges by mitigating optical and electronic degradation pathways. These efforts have the potential to enable contact deposition that matches the high performance of aluminum oxide while maintaining the low production costs of conventional passivation materials.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Project Name: Low-Cost, High-Efficiency III-V Photovoltaics Enabled By Remote Epitaxy through Graphene
Location: Cambridge, MA
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Jeehwan Kim
Project Summary: This project will develop low-cost, high-throughput, and high-efficiency multijunction photovoltaics (PV) by leveraging remote epitaxy and a 2-dimensional layer transfer process that uses hybrid vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE). This manufacturing method allows the growth of defect-free single-crystalline films that can be easily separated from the substrate. The substrate, which is expensive, can be infinitely reused by copying the crystalline information from the substrate through graphene. To validate the feasibility of this method, tandem PV cells will be grown and characterized to achieve maximum power conversion efficiency levels. In addition, the HVPE technique will enable high-throughput epitaxy at low costs, helping to produce PV cells at manufacturing scale.

University of Delaware

Project Name: Novel and Effective Surface Passivation for High-Efficiency N- and P-Type Silicon Solar Cells
Location: Newark, DE
DOE Award Amount: $800,000
Cost Share: $200,000
Principal Investigator: Ujjwal Das
Project Summary: Passivation of surface defects is key to achieving high-efficiency silicon solar cells. This project aims to achieve superior surface and cell performance in silicon photovoltaics by using sulfur and selenium compounds to passivate the silicon surface and enable high open circuit voltage. The team will analyze sulfur and selenium surface behavior using advanced X-ray and capacitive characterization methods for advanced cell design applications, such as p-type passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) and n-type passivated emitter rear totally diffused (PERT) structures, where voltage has traditionally been a major limiting parameter.

Arizona State University 3

Project Name: Diagnosing and Overcoming Recombination and Resistive Losses In Non-Silicon Solar Cells Using a Silicon-Inspired Characterization Platform
Location: Tempe, AZ
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Zachary Holman
Project Summary: The goal of this project is to develop a characterization platform for non-silicon-based devices in order to gather a precise accounting of power losses that limit device performance. While tools and techniques for silicon-based devices are available, there aren’t comparable ones for non-silicon devices. Novel amorphous silicon contacts applied to cadmium telluride absorbers will be characterized using multiple bulk and interface loss-analysis methods. Using this methodology, the team will examine a wider range of absorber materials and create a platform that enables users to rapidly and accurately assess the quality of a wide range of bulk materials and surface passivation layers, including contact selectivity and contact resistivity. 

Arizona State University 4

Project Name: Reliability Evaluation of Bifacial and Monofacial Glass/Glass Modules with Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) and Non-EVA Encapsulants
Location: Tempe, AZ
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Govindasamy Tamizhmani
Project Summary: Photovoltaic modules with glass/glass encapsulation are expected to be more resistant to breakage and degradation than glass/backsheet modules. However, many glass/glass-module architectures continue to use ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) as an internal encapsulant, and EVA has been linked to significant life-limiting reliability issues, including glass cracking, encapsulant delamination, and encapsulant browning. This project will assess the merits and shortcomings of glass/glass modules with EVA and non-EVA encapsulants by evaluating new and field-aged modules. The team will then evaluate the expected reliability of these modules using indoor and outdoor accelerated tests.

Innovative Pathways: Photovoltaics


Project Name: Accelerating Low-Income Financing and Transactions for Solar Access Everywhere (LIFT Solar Everywhere)
Location: Washington, DC
DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Cost Share: $375,000
Principal Investigator: Lori Michelle Moore
Project Summary: This team will assess the replicability and scalability of a variety of solar financing models that could enable greater solar access, including: a private finance option similar to a utility credit structure; a “pay as you save” structure that pays for solar with shared savings; and a credit enhancement model that leverages alternative financing like loss reserves offered through foundations, municipal authorities, or public-private partnerships. The team will analyze adoption rates and performance data from ongoing projects, with an eye toward optimizing the models for scale.

International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology (ICAST)

Project Name: Developing and Piloting Solar Financing Models to Expand PV Access to Low and Moderate Income Americans
Location: Lakewood, CO
DOE Award Amount: $999,935
Cost Share: $256,454
Principal Investigator: Ravi Malhotra
Project Summary: This team will partner with utilities, multifamily affordable housing (MFAH) projects, and private investors to create and validate an aggregated shared solar financing model. This financing model aims to reduce project costs and risks, which has prevented MFAH solar development. 

Arizona State University 5

Project Name: Developing Socially and Economically Generative, Resilient PV-Energy Systems for Low- and Moderate-Income Communities: Applications to Puerto Rico
Location: Tempe, AZ
DOE Award Amount: $1,229,307
Cost Share: $307,328
Principal Investigator: Clark Miller
Project Summary: The project team will work to develop innovative approaches and models to enable Puerto Rico’s low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities to better understand how they can use solar energy to improve resilience and energy affordability. The team will analyze and model different approaches for expanding solar energy access, including household, business, community, and utility-based solar solutions. Researchers will map the solar opportunity for LMI communities in Puerto Rico and conduct deeper analysis of specific representative communities. 

GRID Alternatives

Project Name: Revolving Program Related Investments Energy Savings Fund
Location: Oakland, CA
DOE Award Amount: $999,470
Cost Share: $2,022,801
Principal Investigator: Jake Bobrow
Project Summary: The team will design, build, test, and scale an innovative financing and project-development model that could expand photovoltaic access to low- and moderate-income Americans. The model, which incorporates new sources of capital, aims to lower solar electricity costs and reduce creditworthiness as a barrier of entry, particularly in the development of multifamily rooftop and ground-mounted community solar projects that are 50-500 kilowatts.

Learn more about the SETO FY2018 funding program and the projects selected for the concentrating solar-thermal power and workforce initiative topics.