Solar Incubator Program
Fifty-four startups have participated in the SunShot Incubator program since it began in 2007. These DOE solar projects are accelerating technological innovation for:
- Photovoltaic (PV) technologies
- Concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies
- Power electronics
- Balance-of-system (BOS) hardware
- Balance-of-system non-hardware (Soft Costs).
The Incubator program provides early-stage assistance to help startup companies cross technological barriers to commercialization while encouraging private sector investment. Since the program was launched in 2007, $92 million in government funds has leveraged more than $1.7 billion in venture capital and private equity investment, demonstrating a ratio of nearly $20 in subsequent private sector support for every $1 of federal support.
The SunShot Incubator program aims to shorten the time between laboratory-scale proof of concept and prototype development and accelerate the process for companies to transition pre-commercial prototypes through the pilot stage into full-scale manufacture. Most projects are cooperative agreements that last from twelve to eighteen months with payment made upon completion and verification of aggressive project deliverables.
The SunShot Incubator Program uses a two-tiered approach to accomplish its objectives.
Tier 1 speeds the development of innovative solar hardware and soft cost concepts to the prototype stage. Generally, Tier 1 awards are provided to applicants that have a proof-of-concept or early prototype design or device and need to advance their design or assembly process to produce a commercially-relevant prototype.
Tier 2 aims to shorten the timeline for awardees to transition innovative materials, devices, systems, or ideas into pilot and eventually full-scale manufacturing, production, or deployment. Successful participation in this program accelerates the transition to full commercial production or product release.
The Incubator program was originally created to support innovative solar startups working to develop and launch transformative PV technologies. Over the past five years, the program has evolved to take an all-inclusive approach to significantly lower the total installed cost of solar energy systems. Visit the Financial Opportunities page for more information about future funding rounds.
Incubator 7 (2012)
Incubator 6 (2012)
Incubator 5 (2011)
Incubator 5 (2011)
Incubator 4 (2010)
Incubator 3 (2009)
Incubator 2 (2008)
Incubator 1 (2007)