DOE Announces $45 Million in Solar Technology Research, including $25 Million for New Consortium to Modernize the Electric Grid
Dec 21, 2020
Last week, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced $25 million for a new consortium that will research solar hardware and systems integration and control technology to modernize the electric grid. The consortium is part of a larger, $45 million initiative to advance solar hardware and systems integration. Regarding the announcement, Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette commented that “investing in innovative research and development projects will help ensure that the technologies we’re using benefit the U.S. economy while securely delivering reliable power to all Americans.”
Currently, solar makes up only 3% of U.S. electricity, but that number is expected to grow to 18% by 2050. The expected growth of solar-generated electricity requires an increase in grid solar capacity. To meet that need with U.S. developed-hardware, domestic research investments must be made now.
DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) Fiscal Year 2021 Systems Integration and Hardware Incubator funding program intends to foster technological development in two key areas: systems integration and hardware incubation. As part of the systems integration research, the new “Grid-Forming Technologies Research Consortium” will advance research and industry-wide collaboration on grid-forming technologies and ensure that they enhance power systems operation.
The consortium will be made up of U.S. universities, nonprofits, companies, and local governments, and will be backed by DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office and Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO). The consortium will aim to advance grid-forming technologies that automatically coordinate resources to start up and maintain electricity on the grid.
To learn more about the consortium funding opportunity, register for information webinar taking place on Wednesday, January 6 at 1pm.