The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory system is an integral resource for the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to address the most critical barriers to solar integration on the grid and continue to lower solar electricity costs. The SETO Lab Call FY2019-21 funding program will support core capabilities at the national labs as well as research and development projects that facilitate a more resilient, reliable, and affordable electric grid.


This funding program supports innovative projects that will have a measurable and significant impact within the research areas of photovoltaics, systems integration, concentrating solar-thermal power, and market analysis. Projects across the national labs will aim to provide analysis and advance technologies that will enable the solar industry to reach SETO’s 2030 cost goals. SETO will also support the national labs’ core capabilities, which are intellectual or physical assets that are unique to a lab and designed to solve difficult, long-term challenges associated with solar energy.  


In fiscal year 2019, project funding will total $61.6 million.

  • Photovoltaics (FY19: $31.1M) – Projects aim to lower material and process costs, increase efficiency, and improve the reliability and durability of photovoltaic modules.
  • Systems Integration (FY19: $14.5M) – Projects will analyze and evaluate solar integration challenges, power system planning and operation, power electronics, sensing and communication integrity, data analytics, cybersecurity, and the integration of solar with energy storage and other distributed energy resources.
  • Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power (FY19: $7M; FY20: $3M; FY21: $3M) – Projects aim to lower concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) costs by making improvements to the materials and components used within high-temperature CSP systems, enabling them to cost-effectively operate at temperatures greater than 700° Celsius.
  • Analysis (FY19: $8.9M) – Projects will develop tools to enable better understanding of the solar industry, plan for change and disruption, and identify areas of future technological innovation with increasing customer affordability.

Learn more about the Solar Energy Technologies Office’s national laboratory research.