SunShot Announces Funding to Boost Solar Reliability, Improve Grid Integration
As part of the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative, the Department announced up to $17 million to support the development of innovative, cost-effective solutions to boost the amount of solar energy that utilities can integrate seamlessly with the national power grid. This funding will help utilities develop adaptable and replicable practices, long-term strategic plans, and technical solutions to sustain reliable operations with large proportions of solar power on the grid. It will also support projects aimed at improving the lifetime and reliability of solar modules and electronics.
The funding is being offered through two opportunities:
- Solar Utility Networks: Replicable Innovation in Solar Energy (SUNRISE): Under this effort, up to $12 million is available for projects to enable utilities to develop long-term strategic plans that integrate high levels of renewable energy generation and ensure reliable real-time power system operations under high renewable penetration. Funding is also available for projects to provide technical assistance for capacity-building activities regarding utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) planning and installation.
- Physics of Reliability: Evaluating Design Insights for Component Technologies in Solar (PREDICTS): Under this effort, up to $5 million is available for projects aimed at improving the lifetime and reliability of PV modules, concentrating solar power (CSP) components, and the electronic hardware used to operate and connect to the grid. Funding is available in two distinct topic areas: 1) identification, evaluation, and modeling of intrinsic failure mechanisms in PV and CSP subsystems and system components; and 2) development of standard testing procedures for the lifetime of microinverters and microconverters, both in standalone and module-integrated configurations.