U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu has announced more than $12 million in additional funds for the DOE's SunShot Incubator program. The funding is intended to help accelerate American innovation in solar energy and manufacturing by supporting advancements in hardware, reductions in soft costs, and the development of pilot manufacturing and production projects.
The SunShot Incubator program helps launch new start-ups and business units within existing companies to accelerate innovative solar technology development. Since 2007, the DOE has invested $60 million through the program in promising technologies as they are brought from the lab to the marketplace. These investments have catalyzed $1.6 billion in private-sector support, according to the DOE.
The latest funding opportunity will support innovations in the development of hardware and non-hardware approaches from the proof-of-concept stage to prototype demonstration, including advances in photovoltaics, concentrating solar power and power electronics. The program also focuses on streamlining permitting, inspection and financing approaches, and shortening the timeline for awardees to transition innovative prototypes produced at lab-scale into pilot and eventually full-scale manufacturing, production or deployment.
Each of the investments will require significant cost-share commitments from the awardees, the DOE notes. Applications are due on April 9. For more information and application requirements, click here.