DOE Seeks Proposals for Fourth Round of Successful Solar Incubator Program
August 02, 2010
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced it is seeking project proposals from companies to invest up to $11 million in solar energy technology development and commercialization. The Photovoltaic (PV) Technology Incubator program aims to shorten the timeline for companies to transition prototype and pre-commercial PV technologies into pilot and full-scale manufacture.
This will be the fourth installment of the successful PV Incubator program, which represents a significant partnering with U.S. industry to meet aggressive cost and installation goals and accelerate the commercialization of these technologies. DOE funds the program through its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which provides program management and technical expertise.
The program is unique from previous versions in that it offers two tiers. Tier 1 projects will receive up to $1 million each through 12-month phased subcontracts, and focus on accelerating the development of innovative PV module-related technologies to the prototype stage. DOE anticipates selecting 4 - 6 Tier 1 projects for awards. Tier 2 projects will receive up to $4 million each through 18-month phased subcontracts, and focus on shortening the timeline for companies to transition innovative lab-scale and pre-commercial prototypes into pilot and eventually full-scale manufacture. DOE anticipates selecting 2 - 3 Tier 2 projects for awards.
The PV Incubator program has already helped empower American small businesses to accelerate prototype and pre-commercial technologies toward pilot and full-scale production. The program has been an important part of the success of its alumni including Abound Solar, CaliSolar, PrimeStar Solar, SolFocus, SoloPower, 1366 Technologies, and Microlink.
By capitalizing on the expert knowledge and technical resources of NREL and other DOE national labs, companies have the opportunity to expand their capabilities, enhance their innovative efforts, and benefit from reduced R&D hurdles and project implementation risk. Technical support and services are available through NREL and other DOE laboratories and facilities for overcoming R&D hurdles and challenges with these high-impact technologies.
DOE's Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP) works to develop cost-competitive solar energy systems for America. The Incubator program is funded through SETP's Photovoltaics subprogram, which aims to accelerate R&D on technology with the highest potential to reach cost competitiveness by 2015, invest in technologies with the capability of reaching long-term carbon reduction goals, and ensure a sustainable domestic PV manufacturing base.
For more information please see the list of current Business Opportunities on NREL's Web site.