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DE-FOA-0002055: Request for Information (RFI): Challenges and Opportunities for the American Solar Industry

The Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to gather insights about priority research and development needs across the solar industry. The goal of this RFI is to achieve a better understanding of the problems facing solar stakeholders including researchers, analysts, and manufacturers supporting the technological advancement and wide-scale adoption of solar technology. This information will help inform the office’s planning efforts.

The RFI covers four topic areas:

Photovoltaics: The office seeks feedback on issues related to high-priority areas within photovoltaics (PV) research, such as advanced PV manufacturing science, high efficiency tandem cell and module development, and reliability of module-level power electronics. Specifically, SETO is interested in and identifying any new major research areas and potential projects or collaborations that would have a lasting impact for the U.S. PV industry.

PV stakeholders are asked to send responses to SETO.RFI.PV@ee.doe.gov and can find a template for responses in the “DOCUMENTS” section below.

Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power: The office seeks input from the industrial and research communities in several areas that may help enable concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) systems to achieve high operating temperatures and lower costs. Those areas include: long-term thermal energy storage, pumped thermal storage materials, and autonomous solar collector fields.

CSP stakeholders are asked to send responses to SETO.RFI.CSP@ee.doe.gov and can find a template for responses in the “DOCUMENTS” section below.

Systems Integration: The office seeks input from relevant stakeholders on a number of interest areas related to the cost-effective, performance-enhancing integration of solar systems onto the electric grid, particularly at high penetration level. These include: addressing early stage research and development gaps with adaptive protection, smart inverter dynamic models, behind-the-meter grid services, grid-forming inverter controls, utilization of PV inverters as grid sensors, and cyber-secure PV plants.

System Integration stakeholders are asked to send responses to SETO.RFI.SI@ee.doe.gov and can find a template for responses in the “DOCUMENTS” section below.

Balance of Systems Soft Cost Reduction: The office seeks feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other solar stakeholders on research gaps associated with permitting, inspection, interconnection, and financing for solar.

Balance of System stakeholders are asked to send responses to SETO.RFI.BOS@ee.doe.gov and can find a template for responses in the “DOCUMENTS” Section below.

This RFI is not a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA); therefore, EERE is not accepting applications at this time. EERE may issue a FOA in the future based on or related to the content and responses to this RFI; however, EERE may also elect not to issue a FOA. There is no guarantee that a FOA will be issued as a result of this RFI. Responding to this RFI does not provide any advantage or disadvantage to potential applicants if EERE chooses to issue a FOA regarding the subject matter. Final details, including the anticipated award size, quantity, and timing of EERE funded awards, will be subject to Congressional appropriations and direction.

Additional Information

Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to the topic-specific email addresses no later than 12:00pm (ET) on January 7, 2019. Responses must be provided as attachments to an email. It is recommended that attachments with file sizes exceeding 25MB be compressed (i.e., zipped) to ensure message delivery. Responses must be provided as a Microsoft Word (.docx) attachment to the email and no more than 20 pages in length, 12 point font, 1 inch margins. Only electronic responses will be accepted.

Please identify answers by responding to a specific question or topic, as applicable. Respondents may answer as many or as few questions as they deem appropriate.

EERE will not respond to individual submissions or publicly publish a compendium of responses. A response to this RFI will not be viewed as a binding commitment to develop or pursue a project or idea.

Respondents are requested to provide the following information at the start of their response to the topic:

Company / institution name;

Company / institution contact;


Documents

  • Request for Information_Challenges and Opportunities for the American Solar Industry_DE-FOA-0002055 (Last Updated: 12/10/2018 01:48 PM ET)
  • Request for Information - PV Response Template (Last Updated: 1/2/2019 11:01 AM ET)
  • Request for Information - CSP Response Template (Last Updated: 12/6/2018 12:09 PM ET)
  • Request for Information - Soft Cost Response Template (Last Updated: 12/6/2018 12:23 PM ET)
  • Request for Information - Systems Integration Response Template (Last Updated: 12/6/2018 12:11 PM ET)

Contact Information

Submission Deadlines

  • Full Application Submission Deadline: 1/7/2019 12:00 PM ET