Solar Prize Semifinalists and Upcoming Small Business Funding

Solar hardware and software innovations sought for upcoming funding.

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Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Solar Energy Technologies Office 


Solar Prize Round 5 Semifinalists Announcement

On December 7, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced 40 semifinalists for Round 5 of the American-Made Solar Prize, a $5 million competition designed to support U.S. solar manufacturing and address challenges to rapid, equitable solar energy deployment. These semifinalists each receive $30,000-50,000 in cash prizes and progress to the next phase of the competition.

This round of the Solar Prize is the first time that both hardware and software innovations were solicited. It is also the first round to include an optional Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Contest for software track competitors that runs parallel to the competition. Eight semifinalists were selected to win the JEDI Contest. They receive additional cash prizes of $12,500 each for software solutions that enable underserved communities to overcome systemic solar barriers and share in the societal benefits of solar deployment.

DOE also announced topics for Phase I of the Fiscal Year 2022 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding program on November 8. Topics 15 and 16 are specifically run by SETO. The SBIR/STTR programs encourage U.S. small businesses to engage in high-risk, innovative research and technology development with the potential for future commercialization.

SETO seeks SBIR and STTR applicants with innovative solutions in the areas of photovoltaic hardware, software, and recycling, concentrating solar-thermal power technologies, power electronics, grid integration, solar forecasting, and more. Phase I awards are up to $200,000 for six months to one year.

Letters of intent to apply will be due in January 2022. More information and exact dates will be available when the funding opportunity announcement is officially released in December. Join the DOE SBIR/STTR mailing list for the latest updates and view the full topic list for more details.


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