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DOE to award $45M to improve US manufacturing of solar photovoltaics

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Silicon Solar Manufacturing and Dual-use Photovoltaics Incubator funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0003057), which will award $45 million for projects to enable continued solar cost reductions while developing next-generation solar technologies and boosting US solar manufacturing.

The research and demonstration projects resulting from this funding opportunity will help enable domestic manufacturing of affordable solar hardware, increase the portion of solar hardware value kept in the US economy, and promote domestic manufacturing of taxpayer-funded technology developments.

A particular focus of this announcement is on innovative products or solutions that can increase the manufacturing of silicon photovoltaics (PV) throughout the supply chain. Other projects will accelerate development of hardware for dual-use PV systems in the co-location of agriculture and PV (agrivoltaics), floating PV, vehicle-integrated PV, and building-integrated PV.

SETO expects to make between five to 12 awards ranging from $1 million to $10 million under the funding opportunity. SETO encourages for-profit applicants to team with diverse institutions including academic institutions, non-profits, state and local governments, and Tribal governments.

  • Topic Area 1: Pilot Demonstration of Silicon Supply Chain Components – 3-4 projects, $1-10 million each. Projects will conduct pilot-scale testing and demonstration of innovative products or solutions that can substantively increase the domestic manufacturing of silicon photovoltaics (PV) in all segments of the supply chain. These demonstration projects will accelerate manufacturing innovations that are part of the silicon solar module supply chain such as: silicon production, silicon ingot and wafering, solar cells, glass and backsheets and other module components, and associated manufacturing equipment.

  • Topic Area 2: Dual-use PV Incubator – 2-8 projects, $1-1.6 million each. Projects will develop products that can open new markets for emerging dual-use PV sectors, in particular agricultural PV or agrivoltaics, building-integrated PV, floating PV, and vehicle-integrated PV. These markets require application-specific hardware, including PV cells, modules, mounting, and other dedicated balance-of-system components.


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