February 6 (Renewables Now) - The US Department of Energy (DOE) will extend up to USD 125.5 million (EUR 114.1m) in financing for research and development (R&D) projects in the solar field.
The agency said the research will target reducing the cost of solar, which in turn will enhance the competitiveness of the domestic photovoltaic (PV) production and improve the grid reliability.
More specifically, some USD 39 million will be provided for one or two projects seeking to develop a test site to speed up the commercialisation of supercritical carbon dioxide power cycles used by concentrated solar power (CSP) plants. Up to 11 projects will benefit from a total of USD 30 million for developing community microgrids and boosting the cybersecurity for solar inverters and power plants. The development of hybrid power generation projects that improve grid resilience will also be supported in this category.
Additionally, the DOE will finance with USD 15 million between eight and 12 projects that aim to prolong the lifespan of PV systems and cut hardware costs for plants using traditional silicon solar cells, as well as thin-film, tandem and perovskite cells. Innovative product ideas in manufacturing will benefit from USD 14 million in financing, while USD 10 million will go for studies into the decision-making about solar and other emerging technologies.
Research dedicated to technologies for co-locating solar and agricultural sites will get USD 6.5 million and USD 6 million will go towards artificial intelligence applications for the solar sector. Last but not least, innovative concepts for PV and CSP projects will be awarded USD 5 million, the DOE said.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.909)