Opportunities Announced to Develop American Solar Workforce
The Energy Department has announced up to $15 million in new funding under two opportunities to grow America's solar workforce by ensuring the development of skilled professionals. These efforts will create an infrastructure for a new generation of clean energy professionals by providing research opportunities for minority students and by engaging existing DOE project teams to support the training of engineers and utility personnel.
Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED)
Through this effort, up to $12 million is available for projects that help to support increased power system research and development (R&D) and analytical capacity while simultaneously growing the expertise and preparedness of current and incoming electric utility sector professionals for high penetrations of solar and other distributed energy technologies. In order to achieve this joint capability and human capacity development, GEARED will support two activities: training consortia that focus on quickly bringing findings into training and educational initiatives; and a national coordination network that will link these consortia to one another and other relevant power system R&D and training activities. This funding will leverage the expertise gained in existing DOE efforts such as the High Penetration Solar Deployment projects.
Diversity in Science and Technology Advances National Clean Energy in Solar (DISTANCE-Solar)
Through this effort, up to $3 million is available to fund the continuation and expansion of the Minority University Research Associates (MURA) program. MURA encourages minority students to pursue careers in science and technology by supporting research associates and professors or principal investigators from selected schools as they perform renewable energy research projects during the academic year. This continuation will help develop a diverse and competent workforce by providing research opportunities for minority students.
Complementing these efforts, the SunShot Initiative is also accepting applications for postdoctoral research awards, which provide an opportunity to work on advanced clean energy technologies at universities, national laboratories, and other research facilities. Applications are due February 28.