WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it is seeking project proposals from companies to invest up to $11 million in solar energy technology development and commercialization. The Photovoltaic (PV) Technology Incubator program aims to shorten the timeline for companies to transition prototype and pre-commercial solar PV technologies into pilot and full-scale manufacture.

This will be the fourth installment of the PV Incubator program, which is a partnership with U.S. industry to meet aggressive cost and installation goals and accelerate the commercialization of solar technologies. DOE funds the program through its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which provides program management and technical expertise.

This round of the program has two tiers. Tier 1 projects will receive up to $1 million each through 12-month phased subcontracts, and focus on accelerating the development of innovative PV module-related technologies to the prototype stage. DOE anticipates selecting four to six Tier 1 projects for awards. Tier 2 projects will receive up to $4 million each through 18-month phased subcontracts, and focus on shortening the timeline for companies to transition innovative lab-scale and pre-commercial prototypes into pilot and eventually full-scale manufacturing. DOE anticipates selecting two to three Tier 2 projects for awards.

By capitalizing on the expert knowledge and technical resources of NREL and other DOE national labs, companies will have the opportunity to expand their capabilities, enhance their innovative efforts, and benefit from reduced R&D hurdles and project implementation risk.

For more information and to submit a letter of interest, visit www.nrel.gov/business_opportunities/solicitations_rfps.html.

Publication date:08/23/2010