Funding Small Innovative Projects in Solar

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Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power and Photovoltaics

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) has introduced the Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS) 2023 funding opportunity. This initiative plans to provide $6.5 million for early-stage R&D projects focused on inventive and original ideas in photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) that are riskier than conventional research ideas.

The funding opportunity aims to simplify the application process to encourage early-career researchers who have never applied or received a SETO project award to apply.

Additionally, applicants must submit a plan that emphasizes broadening the participation of well-qualified members of underrepresented groups on their teams. This effort aligns with the Biden administration’s objective to increase diversity among those working in applied energy research fields. SETO anticipates granting around 14 to 24 awards, each ranging between $250,000 and $400,000, to a diverse group of teams that includes universities, federally funded research and development centers, nonprofits, community-based organizations, state agencies, local governments, and solar developers.

The Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS) 2023 funding opportunity from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) comprises two topic areas.

Topic Area 1: CSP, will allocate $400,000 to 7-12 projects that explore novel ideas in concentrated solar-thermal power (CSP), including thermal energy storage, solar-thermal industrial process heat innovations, and solar-thermal fuel systems.

Topic Area 2: PV, will award $250,000 to 7-12 projects that concentrate on new and emerging areas of photovoltaic (PV) research, aiming to reduce costs, improve power conversion efficiency, enhance fielded energy output, reuse and recycle system components, prolong service life, and boost PV technology’s manufacturability.

Successful projects should produce significant results within the first year of performance, paving the way for continued research.

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