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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. Read the announcement. On March 22, 2019, an additional $28 million in funding was announced for 25 projects.


This funding program seeks to advance early-stage technologies that help the office to reach its 2030 cost targets while also increasing the number of talent pools in the industry and preparing those in the utility industry to manage a modern grid.

Projects are listed in the pages below:

  • Concentrating Solar Power Research and Development
    CSP projects support progress toward achieving a 50% cost reduction by 2030 and will focus on advancing components found in CSP sub-systems, including collectors, power cycles, and thermal transport systems, while pursuing new methods for introducing innovation to CSP research.
  • Photovoltaics Research and Development
    PV projects 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.
  • Improving and Expanding the Solar Industry through Workforce Initiatives
    Workforce projects seek to prepare the solar industry for a digital future and modern grid while also increasing the number of veterans and other participants in the solar industry.

Within the PV research area, 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 both PV and CSP while Innovative Pathway projects will work toward creating new ways to overcome technology transfer challenges. Workforce projects will help prepare the industry for its future needs through programs that are designed to help utility professionals manage a modern grid and increase the number of veterans and other talent pools in the industry.

Learn more about the concentrating solar power, photovoltaics, and workforce projects.