DOE Offers More Than $200 Million for Solar and Water Power

April 28, 2010

DOE announced on April 22 that it will invest more than $200 million over five years to expand and accelerate the development, commercialization, and use of solar and water power technologies throughout the United States. The four funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) are for projects that will help industry overcome technical barriers, demonstrate new technologies, and boost clean energy jobs. See the DOE press release.

Three of the FOAs relate to solar power, including up to $125 million over five years for manufacturing-focused research projects in solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies. Funds for the PV Manufacturing Initiative will be available for both universities and industry. Concept papers are due June 3, with full applications due in early August. The second FOA will award up to $40 million over three years for PV supply chain development, focusing on new products or processes that will make a major impact on the PV industry within two to five years. Examples include lower-cost coating materials, electrical components that improve system performance, processes that reduce manufacturing waste, or equipment that dramatically improves manufacturing or installation speed. Applications are due July 2. The third FOA will award up to $4.5 million over five years to a national administrator for the Solar Instructor Training Network, created in 2009 by DOE. The selected organization will also serve as a national point of contact for the training network and will work with a broad set of stakeholders to define, prioritize, and address issues related to solar training and workforce development. Applications are due June 15. See the PV Manufacturing Initiative FOA on Grants.gov and FedConnect, the PV supply chain development FOA on Grants.gov and FedConnect, and the FOA for the training network administrator on Grants.gov and FedConnect.

The fourth FOA will provide up to $39 million over four years for marine and hydrokinetic technologies. DOE intends to speed the technological advancement and commercial readiness of emerging water power technologies that can produce renewable, cost-competitive electricity by harnessing the energy of waves, currents, tides, and free-flowing rivers, or energy stored in ocean thermal gradients. This FOA seeks to leverage private-sector investment in water power technologies by providing cost-shared funding to industry and industry-led partnerships in order to advance the technological and operational readiness of water power systems and components. Applications are due June 7. See the FOA on Grants.gov and FedConnect.