Solar Snapshot, the newsletter of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Author: SETO Staff             6/30/2022        SETO

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Solar Energy Technologies Office

 Funding Opportunities and Prizes

Solar Prize Round 6 Is Live 

Solar innovators, it’s time to throw your hats in the ring for Round 6 of the American-Made Solar Prize! U.S.-based entrepreneurs are invited to submit ideas for innovative hardware and software solar technologies for a chance to win cash prizes and technical assistance. Apply by Oct. 6 to compete and register for an informational webinar on July 13.

American-Made Solar Prize

Solar District Cup Class of 2023 Launches

Summer may be just starting, but it’s back to school for the Solar District Cup. DOE’s collegiate competition brings multi-disciplinary student teams together to design solar and storage technologies that reimagine how energy is generated and consumed. Students in engineering, architecture, business, and related fields can apply on a rolling basis through Oct. 6 to compete in the Solar District Cup Class of 2022-2023 for a full academic year.

Perovskite Prize Deadline Approaching

There is still time to apply for the American-Made Perovskite Startup Prize to accelerate the development and manufacturing of perovskite solar cells. Competitors who advance to the next stage of the of the prize will receive $200,000. Assemble your team and apply by July 28.

Some Light 🌞 Reading

Peeking at Pollinators Under Solar Arrays

Did you know that pollinators are critical for producing many food crops? SETO is funding work to study the impacts of co-locating ground-mounted solar arrays and habitats for pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Solar arrays at a pollinator friendly habitat

Solar Energy for the People

The People Power Solar Cooperative in Oakland, California is showing that community-owned solar can be financially beneficial for residents. Deviating from the traditional community solar model where members receive a credit on their electric utility bill, these member-owners invest directly in a solar project and earn money as it sells energy, allowing them to distribute wealth within the community.

Apply for a Fellowship with SETO

Do you want to work with SETO to advance solar technologies and deployment? Apply for a Science and Technology Policy Fellowship by July 15! Students, researchers, and professional scientists are eligible. Selected participants will play an integral role in designing and implementing new initiatives. They will support office-wide research, demonstration, and development efforts in photovoltaic, concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP), and grid integration technologies, as well as solar manufacturing, behavioral science, data analysis, environmental justice, and communications.

Request for Information: Transforming Mines into Clean Energy Hubs

DOE is seeking responses to inform a $500 million program funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to place clean energy demonstration projects on current or former mine lands across America. Two of the selected projects must include solar energy. Submit your response by email to by Aug. 15 at 5 p.m. ET.

Solar Jobs Are on the Rise

Energy jobs grew faster than all U.S. employment in 2021, according to DOE’s annual U.S. Energy and Employment Report. Solar energy jobs increased by 5% to more than 330,000 jobs in 2021.

Upcoming Events

Webinar: American-Made Solar Prize Round 6

July 13 | 2 p.m. ETLearn how to compete in Round 6 of the Solar Prize—a competition designed to energize U.S. solar innovation.

IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) General Meeting

July 17-21Members of SETO’s systems integration team will speak at the IEEE PES General Meeting in Denver, Colorado.

SolarAPP+ Industry Roundtable for Local Authorities and Installers

July 21 | 1 p.m. ETJoin a roundtable of solar industry leaders and government officials to learn how SolarAPP+ can save your community time and money.

In Case You Missed It

USDA Pollinator Week

SETO joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture to celebrate the critical role pollinators play in agriculture and promote research into the benefits of growing pollinator-friendly plants under or near solar arrays.

SETO booth at the USDA Pollinator Week event

Webinar: Energyshed: Exploring Place-Based Generation

Download the slides from informational webinar about the new $10 million funding opportunity for projects that will help local decision-makers assess the impacts of electricity generated and used within a discrete geographic area

Watch the recording of Sandia’s CSP program discussion on the challenges of working with fluid temperatures at 750° C or above.

Learn more about SETO or DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the fourth round of the Solar District Cup

Author: US DOE Staff         Published: 6/29/2022      SETO

Solar District Cup

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the fourth round of the Solar District Cup—a collegiate competition designed to bring together multidisciplinary teams to design energy systems for a campus or urban district. Diverse students in engineering, urban planning, finance, and related majors will form teams to reimagine how energy is generated and used in a given district.

As students design their energy systems, they will present solutions to pressing solar deployment challenges while making professional contacts and gaining skills needed to enter the clean energy workforce.

Collegiate teams will compete in divisions and base their energy system designs around the needs of real-world district use cases. This year, students will have two options for their district use cases:

  • Assignment to a district use case defined by competition organizers (as in previous rounds of the Solar District Cup).
  • Self-selection of a district use case. All student teams choosing to bring their own district will compete in a division against other teams bringing their own districts.

The Solar District Cup Class of 2022-2023 will accept collegiate team registration on a rolling basis, which means students can begin work and access learning resources on a timeline that best aligns with their academic calendar.

Register to compete by Oct. 20, 2022. Registered student teams will receive their assigned district use case and access to modeling tools beginning Aug. 23.

In addition to rolling registration throughout the fall, the Solar District Cup Class of 2022-2023 will allow for one-semester or two-quarter participation in the winter/spring.

The competition is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Learn more about previous rounds of the Solar District Cup.

Energea Q2 Investor Webinar Announcement

Author: Tyler Hurlburt            Published: 6/29/20    ENERGEA



Good afternoon,

Please join us for our 2022 Q2 – Investor Webinar and learn more about what’s happening here at Energea as well as what’s coming to the platform. We look forward to seeing all of you on July 13th at 7 p.m. EST.

*Please note the later start time*

After registering you will receive a link to join the event as well as an option to add the event to your calendar. Please be sure to add this event to your calendar.

Thanks and we hope you can join us!

Tyler Hurlburt

Director of Investor Relations


Book a Meeting

Greetings DOEE Stakeholders: DC Build Back Better Infrastructure Task Force

Author: DOEE Staff      Published: 6/29/2022       DOEE

Mayor Bowser on Bridge Highlighting Jobs through Infrastructure


On Thursday, March 24th, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the DC Build Back Better Infrastructure Task Force, which will advise on priority projects to be funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The $1.2 trillion, five-year infrastructure bill was signed into law on November 15, 2021 and seeks to rebuild American competitiveness through infrastructure by reauthorizing and increasing funding for existing and new programs (over half of the new funding is transportation focused.) The District is expected to receive more than $3 billion over the next five years and will be eligible to apply for competitive grants.

The DC Build Back Better Infrastructure Task Force will be responsible for making recommendations on how to maximize this once-in-a-generation funding opportunity to bolster DC’s competitiveness and resiliency in the region, nationally and globally. The Task Force will also make recommendations on how to prioritize projects that can be funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including formula and competitive grants and solicit feedback from the public and external stakeholders.


The Task Force is made up of members from District agencies and external partners chosen for their expertise in each one of the 5 subcommittees:

  • Transportation Innovation
  • Technology Innovation
  • Workforce Capacity Building
  • Environment and Resilience
  • Administration, Compliance and Procurement

An executive committee will review initial committee findings and guide the overall process.

SETTING PRIORITIES: Tranformational, Equitable, Sustainable

When thinking about which projects should be prioritized, the Task Force will consider recommendations that will improve economic opportunities for underserved communities, create greater equity amongst DC neighborhoods and residents, withstand future shocks and stressors and accommodate growth throughout the District. Project recommendations must meet three core principles:

  • Transformational – big, creative ideas that do away with historical barriers and ensure systems and resources are combined to build back better
  • Equitable – cement racial equity into all stages of the projects
  • Sustainable – address the climate crisis and build resiliency while also being able to continue when BIL funding is no longer available


While the DC Build Back Better Infrastructure Task Force meets and develops recommendations, we want to hear from residents across the District who want to have their say in how we prioritize funding projects. Please use the following form to share your thoughts with Task Force members. Remember to think big–this historic investment will be used to change the lives of District residents?

During the event, Mayor Bowser also highlighted how her Fiscal Year 2023 Fair Shot Budget invests in the District’s infrastructure, including $200 million for longer-term streetscape projects to redesign our most dangerous roads and intersections, $143 million to DC Water and the DC Department of Energy and Environment to support efforts to remove all lead pipes from DC, and $100 million to enable ubiquitous connectivity across the District.

To learn more about the Mayor’s FY23 budget highlights, please visit: 



From: The Office of the AABE Board Chairman, Richard Thigpen: 2022-2024 Regional Director Appointments

AABE Staff          Published: 6/24/2022          AABE

From: The Office of the AABE Board Chairman, Richard Thigpen


Re: 2022-2024 Regional Director Appointments

As the new Chairman of the AABE Board of Directors, I’m eager to build on our effective leadership framework to support chapter operations and leadership development.

In accord with our National Bylaws, it is my distinguished honor to appoint the Regional Directors for May 2022 – May 2024 to align with my two-year term as Board Chair. The AABE Regional Directors serve as the interface to the Board of Directors, National Office Staff, and to the Chapter Presidents.

Please join me in congratulating the following AABE leaders as they assume the role of AABE Regional Director. Their demonstrated commitment to AABE, leadership, and service at the chapter and regional level have rendered them “ready” to advise and support the chapter leaders.



Manager-Corporate Responsibility

PSEG Corporate Citizenship

973-430-8699 (office)



Supervisor, IT Operations


804-339-7935 (mobile)



Regulatory Affairs

Duke Energy

704-382-2330 (office)



Business Diversity Director \ Transmission & Distribution Services

Burns & McDonnell

816-654-6296 (office) \ 816-304-5826 (mobile)



Government Relations Manager

SCE Local Public Affairs

310-608-5103 (office) \ 818-585-9149 (mobile)



MISO Technical Development

501-378-4111 (office) \ 501-517-8151 (mobile)

I would be remiss not to ask you to join me in thanking Amanda Downey, Laquisha Parks, Drexel Harris, and Siraj Mumin for their outstanding service as Regional Directors. While they have chosen to retire from their positions, they have all committed to continuing their support for AABE and our mission of representing the interests of African Americans.


Rick Thigpen

Green Bank News | June 2022 Here’s The Latest News

Author:  MCGB Staff      Published: 6/16/2022     MCGB


Green Bank News | June 2022Here’s The Latest News
Check out our new website!
See below for more details on the upcomingBoard of Directors Meeting. 
June 22, 2022 Board of Directors Meeting 
Date: June 22, 2022Time: 8:00 – 9:00 amLocation: 155 Gibbs Street, 4th Floor, Bethesda, MD 20850The Montgomery County Green Bank will be holding a Board of Directors Meeting on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at 1:30 PM. The public may attend. The meeting will be held in person at 155 Gibbs Street in Bethesda, MD. Please RSVP to View the meeting agenda.
RSVP for the Meeting
We’re closing out fiscal year 2022 with a bang! See below for an end of year summary.  

 End of Year Summary for Fiscal Year 2022

Over the past year, the Green Bank has been committed to building a prospering, sustainable, and healthy Montgomery County where everyone participates in and benefits from clean energy and climate-resilient solutions. We are excited to move forward with significant momentum in investments and impact, strong alignment on energy and equity, and a proven platform to support County leadership on climate adaptation, green job creation, economic recovery, and quality of life. We thank all who have collaborated on our progress.Fiscal Year 2022 Highlights:
  • FY22: Transaction production volume: $11,421,601
  • FY22: Number of projects: 38
  • Portfolio: Annual GHG savings (metric tons): 1,879*
  • Portfolio: Annual energy $ savings: $206,401
  • Portfolio: Households supported: 745
  • Portfolio: Low-and Moderate-Income Households supported: 550
View Our Case Studies
We’re expanding our business with partnerships, deals and programs. See below for updates. 

 The Green Bank Partners with Sunnova to Make Solar More Accessible

The Montgomery County Green Bank is proud to announce a new partnership with Sunnova Energy International Inc. to offer low- to moderate-income homeowners in Montgomery County access to exclusive solar financing. This program is available to Montgomery County households that earn up to $97,500 per year and want to enjoy the benefits of going solar without any upfront costs. Through an innovative structure of Green Bank resources in partnership with Sunnova, more options are being made available to qualifying households to either lock in a predictable solar energy rate for 25 years or select Sunnova’s new offering that allows customers to lock in a set discount from the utility.
Read the Press Release

 Small Business Energy Savings Program reaches $1 million in DealsGreen Bank and City First Enterprises Expand Partnership by $4 million 

The Green Bank and City First Enterprises partnership has delivered substantial benefits achieving $1 million in financing for the Small Business Energy Savings Support Program! With this success, we have increased our partnership with City First Enterprises by $4 million.Transactions for the Small Business Energy Savings Support program that have occurred so far include:
Learn More

 Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring Installs a 25 kW Solar Array

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring will use a Small Business Energy Savings Support (“SBESS”) interest-only bridge loan to sustain their community hall by making significant energy efficiency improvements and installing a 25 kW solar array. The bridge loan by the Green Bank and City First Enterprises will be paired with a C-PACE loan and equity for a total project of $2,200,000.This project presents an opportunity for substantially improving the community hall’s energy efficiency, resulting in the mitigation of 502 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and 60% reduction in energy use.
Read the Case Study

 The Green Bank Supports Affordable Housing in New Deal with Housing Unlimited

Housing Unlimited, an affordable housing non-profit organization, will install more than 20 kW of solar PV energy on three of their single-family properties to produce almost 25,000 kWh of clean, renewable energy throughout the first year of use. The total project cost of $57,960 will be financed through a 20-year power purchase agreement between Skyview Ventures and Housing Unlimited. The Green Bank’s Commercial Solar Power Purchase Agreement (CSPPA) program allowed Housing Unlimited to install solar and experience the benefits of solar with no out-of-pocket costs through a no-money down rental agreement with Skyview Ventures.
Read the Case Study

 Epworth United Methodist Church Installs 117.9kW of Solar PV Energy

Epworth United Methodist Church of Gaithersburg, MD is installing 117.9kW of solar PV energy on the roof of their church to produce over 139,000 kWh of clean, renewable energy throughout the first twelve months of use. The total project cost of $293,538 will be financed through a 20-year power purchase agreement between Skyview Ventures and Epworth United Methodist Church. Epworth is a multicultural and multilingual United Methodist Church made up of members that look to reduce the church’s environmental impact. This project was recently featured in a Washington Post article.
Read the Case Study

 Solar Installer Selected for 2022 Capital Area Co-OpAccess Solar Program Available for Low- and Moderate-Income Households 

Congratulations to Sustainable Energy Systems to be the 2022 Capital Area Co-Op solar installer as selected by the 2022 Co-Op members!The Green Bank’s Access Solar program launched with the 2022 Capital Area Solar Co-Op for households earning up to $97,500 in Montgomery County who are participating in the 2022 Capital Area Co-Op and for homeowners not using the co-op when using an Access Solar participating installer.  Access Solar offers two easy ways to finance energy projects – an ownership option and a rental option:
  • Ownership Option:
    • SREC pre-purchase – upfront funding to offset the purchase price by paying for 5 years of SRECs
    • Loan – credit score as low as 600 and 50 bps rate reduction
  • Rental Option:
    • Power Purchase Agreement with several pricing options
 View the session recording of an information webinar for more information.
Learn More About Access Solar
The Green Bank is committed to working collaboratively with partner organizations. See below for more details on networking and outreach events.
 In-Person Contractor Breakfast onMontgomery County BEPS 
The Green Bank and Department of Environmental Protection hosted the first post-pandemic, in-person contractor breakfast discussion on Tuesday, June 7 at 8:30 AM at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. We discussed the newly passed Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) in Montgomery County, MD and potential opportunities for contractors through the new BEPS legislation. We will also reviewed case studies from Washington D.C., where the BEPS law has already been in effect for several months. Nearly 50 participants attended this event.
Online Resources and Events

Take advantage of these resources and webinars while staying-at-home:Clean Energy Solutions Webinar ArchiveView the library of Clean Energy Solutions webinars for topics ranging from home appliance efficiency and benchmarking to breakthrough information on achieving energy savings. New Buildings Institute Webinar ArchiveView NBI’s archive of on-demand webinar recordings on topics including codes and policies to advance net zero to zero net carbon schools.  ENERGY STAR Recorded Webinars and Online Contractor TrainingsLearn about the latest ENERGY STAR residential programs about advanced energy efficiency in homes, or revisit your contractor trainings for Home Performance with ENERGY STAR to refresh requirements, objectives, and strategies. Home Energy Score Training WebinarsBrush up on your Home Energy Score understanding with these webinars from the U.S. DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge.

Contact us with any questions or project needs.
Join the Conversation on Social Media! 
Follow us on all social media platforms for the most recent updates. Like, Comment, and Share! 

JUNE 2O22 Sustainable DC News Letter

Author: DC DOEE Staff      Published: 6/16/2022     DC  DOEE



DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office: Funding Opportunities and Prizes

Author: US DOE SETO Staff    Published: 6/15/2022           SETO

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

What’s Inside: Solar Snapshot, the newsletter of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), shares recent announcementsupcoming eventsproducts and publicationsand more.

If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, you can subscribe here.

Reach out to us at with any inquiries or suggestions.

Estimated read time: 4 minutes, 22 seconds

Funding Opportunities and Prizes

New Funding Opportunity to Study Locally-Based Energy

DOE announced $10 million in funding for tools that help decision-makers evaluate energy systems that produce and use local energy. The Energyshed: Place-Based Energy Generation funding opportunity is designed to enable more reliable, resilient, efficient, and affordable grids that address long-standing inequities in the distribution of cost and benefits across energy systems. Utilities, local governments, and community-based organizations are encouraged to form teams and apply by Aug. 1 at 5 p.m. ET.

Early-Stage Solar Research Projects Announced

DOE selected 19 projects to receive a total of $6 million in funding to pursue innovative, targeted, early-stage ideas in solar energy research and development through the Small Innovative Projects in Solar program. Projects in photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) research areas will focus on novel, high-risk, or high-impact ideas that can produce significant results within the first year of performance.


Apply for Funding to Study Solar and Wildlife

Full applications are due by June 21 at 5 p.m. ET for the Deploying Solar with Wildlife and Ecosystem Services Benefits (SolWEB) funding opportunity. DOE is seeking innovative solutions that maximize benefits and minimize impacts to wildlife and ecosystems from solar energy infrastructure. Applicants must have already submitted a concept paper.

Compete in the Perovskite Startup Prize

The countdown is on for entrepreneurs to accelerate the development and manufacturing of perovskite solar cells. Competitors who advance to the next stage of the American-Made Perovskite Startup Prize will receive $200,000. Assemble your team and apply by July 28.

Some Light 🌞 Reading

Connecting More Clean Energy to the Grid

DOE announced an initiative aimed at helping clean energy connect to the grid. The Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X) brings together grid operators, utilities, state and tribal governments, clean energy developers, energy justice organizations, and other stakeholders to develop solutions for faster, simpler, and fairer interconnection of clean energy resources through better data, roadmap development, and technical assistance. Join i2X today!

i2X logo

Executive Action to Boost Solar Production

President Biden authorized DOE to use the Defense Production Act to boost the domestic solar supply chain. This action will lower energy prices, create good-paying jobs, and strengthen national security.

Apply for a Fellowship with SETO

Are you a student, researcher, or professional scientist interested in solar? Work with SETO to advance solar technologies and deployment through the Science and Technology Policy Fellowship! Selected participants will play an integral role in designing and implementing new initiatives. They will support office-wide research, demonstration, and development efforts in PV, CSP, and grid integration technologies, as well as solar manufacturing, behavioral science, data analysis, environmental justice, and communications. Apply by July 15.

Four Ways SETO Is Helping to Commercialize Perovskite PV

Perovskite solar cells have shown great potential in the lab, yet several challenges stand in the way of their commercialization. SETO is working to overcome hurdles and spur innovation toward the deployment of this promising solar technology.

DOE Accepting Applications for Global Clean Energy Technology Showcase

DOE is hosting the 2022 Global Clean Energy Action Forum on Sept. 21-23 in Pittsburgh. Clean energy innovators are invited to apply for the Technology Showcase that will take place alongside the Forum. Only engaging exhibits with interactive and experimental elements will be accepted. DOE is accepting proposals until June 30.

Request for Information on Long-Duration Energy Storage Initiatives

DOE’s Office of Electricity issued a Request for Information seeking public input on the structure of a $505 million long-duration energy storage initiative. This initiative will increase the availability of clean electricity whenever and wherever needed, and will support the ramp-up of affordable and reliable clean energy solutions. Responses are due June 16 by 5 p.m. ET.

SolarPACES Call for Awards

CSP researchers can apply for recognition at the Solar Power & Chemical Energy Systems (SolarPACES) conference. Applications for the Technology Innovation Award and Lifetime Achievement Award are due July 31 

Upcoming Events

Energyshed: Place-Based Energy Generation Webinar

June 22 | 2 p.m. ETEERE will host an informational webinar to discuss this newly-announced funding opportunity.

Perovskite Tech-to-Market Webinar

June 24 | 1 p.m. ETIn conjunction with the Perovskite Startup Prize, industry experts with experience commercializing thin-film solar technologies will share their tech-to-market strategies, especially around developing and validating commercialization plans for early-stage solar startups.

In Case You Missed It

Spotted with Solar: Secretary Granholm

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visited a community solar site in Fort Washington, Maryland and highlighted the Administration’s commitment to deploying more solar energy to achieve a decarbonized grid by 2035.

Secretary Granholm at community solar site in Fort Washington

Come Together: Interconnection of Solar, Wind, and Energy Storage

Watch the recording of the event with Secretary Granholm, DOE experts, and partners discussing the new i2X initiative to help more clean energy connect to the grid.

How Not to Short Circuit the Clean Energy Transition

Researchers at NREL have learned how to ensure the grid is protected if there is a fault, such as a short circuit. A new guidebook and video explain how to solve this challenge and maintain power systems protection with higher levels of renewables in the future grid.

Simulating the Role of Grid-Forming Inverters in the Future Electric Grid

A Pacific Northwest National Laboratory research team recently developed a new model of a grid-forming inverter that will benefit a grid with increasing amounts of renewable power. The inverter plays a critical role in converting direct current (DC) electricity to alternating current (AC) electricity while maintaining the stability of power grids.

Learn more about SETO or DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

DOE Invests $6 Million in Seedling Solar Energy Research Projects

Author: US DOE Staff:      Published: 6/12/2022       SETO

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected 19 projects, with a total funding of $6 million, that will pursue innovative, targeted, early-stage ideas in solar energy research and development. These projects, representing 13 different U.S. states, will support President Biden’s goal of addressing the climate crisis by driving innovation and speeding clean energy deployment to achieve a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions energy sector by 2050.

The projects were selected through the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS) 2022 Funding Program. SIPS projects focus on novel, high-risk, or high-impact ideas that can produce significant results within the first year of performance, quickly validating new concepts and laying the foundation for continued research. SIPS is an ongoing SETO program that has funded more than 100 projects since it began in 2015.

The SIPS program is also designed to increase the diversity of clean energy researchers by streamlining the application process and encouraging applications from researchers who have never applied or been selected for a SETO award. Of the 19 recipients, 15 are first-time lead researchers on a SETO-funded project.

“Bringing new researchers into the DOE ecosystem with their bold, innovative ideas is an incredibly fruitful way to advance our work in clean energy, and break through incremental improvements,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “I can’t wait to see the knowledge and technological advances that will grow out of these new solar projects.”

Applicants also submitted plans to support team members from groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering and science as part of their projects. Four lead or partner members on the selected projects come from minority-serving institutions.

Projects were awarded in two solar energy research areas: photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP). CSP projects innovate across all aspects of CSP plants, including thermal energy storage, solar-thermal fuel systems, and solar-thermal process heat for industrial decarbonization. The following organizations were selected to receive CSP SIPS awards:

  • Advanced Materials Scientia (Bothell, WA)
  • Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)
  • Flowserve (Irving, TX)
  • Heliogen (Pasadena, CA)
  • Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM)
  • University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
  • University of Maine (Orono, ME)
  • University of Tulsa (Tulsa, OK)

PV projects will improve power conversion efficiency, energy output, reuse and recycling processes, service lifetime, and manufacturability of PV technologies. The following organizations were selected to receive PV SIPS awards:

  • Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)
  • Argonne National Laboratory (Lemont, IL)
  • Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH)
  • University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
  • University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
  • University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT)
  • University of Delaware (Newark, DE)
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa (Honolulu, HI)
  • University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
  • Uriel Solar (Westlake Village, CA)

Learn more about the 2022 SIPS projects and explore SETO’s PV research and CSP research.

Midterm Review: A 2022 U.S. Hemp Production Outlook

Author: Eric Singular, Director          Published: 6/12/2022         Hemp Business Journal

hemp acreage

The U.S. hemp industry is in a period of correction after initially overheated production since passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. Over the past three years, there has been a significant decline in U.S. hemp acreage, but rather than perceived as a negative with fear that the crop has fizzled, it should be welcomed as a much-needed reset for an imperative balance between supply and market demand.

In 2019, the U.S. saw 511,442 acres registered for hemp production. That moon shot in acreage was driven by the CBD boom, and proved to be massively out of balance with the cannabinoid’s true market size. For instance, PanXchange’s Julie Lerner demonstrated how top brand Charlotte’s Web could have achieved its $95 million in 2019 production revenue from the biomass of 57 acres; that year, the manufacturer grew a reported 862 acres, more than 15x the demand.

Correcting the Hype

Rumors of hemp farmers making between $10,000-$50,000 per acre of cannabinoid-rich hemp for extraction fueled overproduction. At the time, the U.S. was still recovering from a trade war with China, and passage of the 2018 Farm Bill stirred a perfect storm as American farmers were dizzied by the promise of a new cash crop. In the four years since, commodity prices for staple crops like corn, wheat, and soy headed toward historic lows. Meanwhile, the per-bushel price of corn has increased 101% (from $3.70 to $7.43), 82% for soybeans (from $9.35 to $16.98), and 109% for wheat (from $4.98 to $10.41).

New Frontier Data documented the following hemp production licensing and acreage data for 2022 with 62% of State Departments of Agriculture reporting (84% of the top-25 producing states):

  • 5,381 licenses issued (down 35% from 8,298 in 2021), and
  • 51,016 acres licensed (down 53% from 107,702 in 2021).

Over the past three years, the average decrease in licensed versus planted acreage is 63%, with a 41% decrease from planted versus harvested acreage. While 51,016 acres is a conservative estimate (with all states reporting, it may be closer to 75,000 acres), U.S. hemp acreage has declined for the third-straight year.

By example, Colorado saw a 75% reduction in acreage from 2021 (from 18,715 acres), down to 4,727 in 2022. Minnesota meanwhile decreased its acreage by more than two-thirds, from 6,191 in 2021 to 2,005 this year.

PanXchange, a marketplace for ESG-Inclusive commodities, estimates the following breakdown by type:

  • Floral: 26,266 acres
  • Fiber: 15,000 acres
  • Grain: 7,000 acres
  • Seed: 2,750 acres

For the past two years, the acreage dedicated to cannabinoid extraction — what the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) classifies as “floral” — has decreased dramatically. When tens of thousands of farmers jumped into hemp production in 2019, they produced a glut of biomass that was tenuously compliant with federal THC standards and often failed to meet the specifications of CBD product manufacturers. We can say with confidence that a balance has finally been struck between supply and demand for hemp-derived cannabinoids.

Demand and Court Decision Drive Delta-8… for Now

While the hype around CBD has cooled, the market for delta-8 THC has exploded. In fact, the delta-8 THC market provided an outlet for the glut of speculative, low-quality, CBD-rich biomass that had sat unsold on farms since 2019 (partially due to the presence of contaminants like pesticides or heavy materials). This is because delta-8 THC is commonly synthesized from CBD isolate.

Last month, the U.S. Ninth Circuit ruled that delta-8 THC and other cannabinoids derived from hemp are legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, regardless whether the substances have psychoactive properties. The legal decision will only continue to spur growth in that market, raising the possibility for an undersupply of hemp biomass for extraction come this fall.

PanXchange estimates that the demand for Delta-8 THC alone may require 25,000 acres of production. This may swing the pendulum of CBD pricing back in an upward direction, after faltering sharply over the last few years.

While the acreage dedicated to floral hemp has declined sharply since 2019, fiber and grain acreage has steadily increased. In the past 12 months, regional processors nationwide have become operational. While 2021 was a key year for processors in trialing varieties, undertaking research and development, and optimizing machinery and processing capabilities, 2022 marked a significant shift toward a larger scale. That is a critical progression as processors have invested millions of dollars to get operational, and their financial projections depend on being able to secure a certain amount of acreage to keep processing lines and shifts running year-round.

However, 2022 has proved challenging to get acreage contracted for U.S. fiber and grain processors. Amid volatility and global food supply fears, the price of staple agricultural commodities has skyrocketed. This is being driven by a confluence of the war in Ukraine, persistent drought, and insatiable demand.

Later this summer, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) will release its 2022 acreage report, which will provide a gauge of attrition from licensed to planted hemp acres. Farmers are required to self-report all crop acreage to FSA annually, so that the agency may determine payment eligibility and its calculations for various disaster programs. Yet, hemp producers face additional regulatory hurdles, including background checks, obtaining their state hemp licenses, coordinating with state agriculture regulators for THC testing of their crops, and timing their harvests to respectively remain within a 30-day period of a state regulatory official’s collecting a pre-harvest sample.

Currently, 44 states, and most tribes, manage their own USDA-approved hemp programs, and thus issue state-level production licenses. However, farmers in each Hawaii, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Utah file production applications directly from the USDA.

Regulatory Respites Available

With agriculture policy reform on the table given the upcoming Farm Bill, there are two industry-led initiatives seeking to mitigate the regulatory burdens on hemp producers. One is a blanket fiber and grain exemption to regulate a hemp crop by end-use; the other is a Certified Seed exemption similar to the regulatory scheme for Canada’s hemp production.

Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar

Author: US DOE Staff       Published: 6/8/2022          SETO

Solar projects are making it easier for Americans to choose solar energy to power their homes.
Department of Energy

Since 2008, hundreds of thousands of solar panels have popped up across the country as an increasing number of Americans choose to power their daily lives with the sun’s energy. Thanks in part to the Solar Energy Technologies Office’s investments, the cost of going solar goes down every year. You may be considering the option of adding a solar energy system to your home’s roof or finding another way to harness the sun’s energy. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solar solution, here are some resources that can help you figure out what’s best for you. Consider these questions before you go solar.

See the Spanish version here. Vea la versión en español aquí.




















The State(s) of Distributed Solar — 2021 Update

Author: Maria McCoy          Published: 5/31/2022    ILSR

The U.S. electricity sector is evolving toward a clean, decentralized system at an ever-accelerating pace. In 2021, developers installed a record 18.2 gigawatts of solar generation capacity. Out of that total, 5.4 gigawatts came from distributed solar, including a record 500,000 homeowners who installed residential solar systems. Distributed solar, which can be owned by individuals, businesses, and public entities, is turning the electricity industry upside down as individuals choose to generate their own solar power.

Many who could not go solar in 2021 subscribed to a community solar garden. These gardens offer the same electric bill stability and savings as rooftop solar, but operate remotely under a subscription model. The state of New Mexico set up its community solar program last year, joining the 19 states (and the District of Columbia) that offer community solar. Delaware, Oregon, and Virginia all set or improved their rules for community solar in 2021.

See our infographic on how Tweaking a Tax Credit Would Help More Americans Go Solar.

The map below illustrates the saturation of each state’s distributed (non-utility-scale) solar market, relative to population, at the end of 2021. For the purposes of the map, community solar in Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York is included as distributed solar. We added our own figures on state community solar capacity to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s figures on small-scale photovoltaic capacity by state. This sum was divided by state population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, resulting in a figure for distributed solar per capita (watts per person). The U.S. EIA does not collect data for Alabama or Georgia.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have a distributed solar saturation of more than 100 watts per capita.

When solar-enabling policies are in place, how well do utilities follow the rules? Read our report on How Electric Utilities and Policymakers Are Holding Back Local Solar.

20 watts per capita is equivalent to rooftop solar on 1 out of every 125 households; 40 watts per capita is equivalent to  2 out of every  125 households; 100 watts per capita is equivalent to 1 out of every 25 households; 200 watts per capita is equivalent to 2 out of every  25 households; 300 watts per capita is equivalent to 3 out of every 25 households; and Hawaii has the equivalent of rooftop solar on 1 out of every 5 households (given the national average of 2.6 persons per household and 6.5 kilowatt rooftop solar systems).

Here are the top states in order from most distributed solar per capita to least:

  1. Hawaii: 521 watts per capita (750 megawatts of distributed solar)
  2. Massachusetts 363 watts per capita (2,532 megawatts of distributed solar)
  3. California: 311 watts per capita (12,200 megawatts of distributed solar)
  4. Arizona: 269 watts per capita (1,956 megawatts of distributed solar)
  5. Rhode Island: 249 watts per capita (272 megawatts of distributed solar)
  6. Vermont: 228 watts per capita (147 megawatts of distributed solar)
  7. New Jersey: 222 watts per capita (2,057 megawatts of distributed solar)
  8. Nevada: 203 watts per capita (637 megawatts of distributed solar)
  9. Connecticut: 196 watts per capita (708 megawatts of distributed solar)
  10. Minnesota: 169 watts per capita (966 megawatts of distributed solar)
  11. New York: 151 watts per capita (3,005 megawatts of distributed solar)
  12. Washington D.C.: 150 watts per capita (101 megawatts of distributed solar)
  13. Maryland: 145 watts per capita (897 megawatts of distributed solar)
  14. Colorado: 140 watts per capita (814 megawatts of distributed solar)
  15. New Mexico: 125 watts per capita (264 megawatts of distributed solar)
  16. Utah: 116 watts per capita (387 megawatts of distributed solar)
  17. New Hampshire: 108 watts per capita (150 megawatts of distributed solar)
  18. Delaware: 100 watts per capita (101 megawatts of distributed solar)

Although California, Texas, Florida, and North Carolina have the largest overall solar markets (see below), Hawaii, Massachusetts, California, and Arizona have the greatest distributed solar saturation, as measured in installed distributed solar capacity per capita. California, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, and New Jersey all land in the top ten for both distributed solar saturation and total solar generation capacity.

These state solar markets changed the most since our 2020 update:

  • Installed solar capacity in Texas, California, and Florida all grew by more than a gigawatt in 2021 (4.3, 3.0, and 1.5 gigawatts, respectively). Virginia’s installed solar capacity grew by just under one gigawatt (955 megawatts).
  • Maine, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin doubled or more than doubled their installed solar capacity with growth from 2021.
  • Indiana, Iowa, Colorado, and Michigan also saw rapid solar generation capacity expansion in 2021 (91%, 80%, 55%, and 53%, respectively).

Eighteen states can now claim more than 1,000 megawatts of total solar capacity and 40 have more than 100 megawatts.

For more analysis on the growth of the U.S. power sector, read our latest quarterly update.

Community solar, enabled in 20 states and the District of Columbia, brings many of the benefits of power to those who have traditionally been left out. Community solar gardens — which are larger than residential solar installations, but smaller than utility-owned solar fields — are the most cost-effective size for solar and reduce electric bills for members of the community.

The following graphic highlights the four community solar-enabling states — ColoradoMassachusettsMinnesota, and New York — that we are able to track at this time. The figures for community solar saturation are calculated by dividing installed community solar capacity by state population.

Total installed community solar capacity at the end of 202:

  1. Minnesota (826 megawatts)
  2. New York (799 megawatts)
  3. Massachusetts (641 megawatts)
  4. Colorado (96 megawatts)

State policies like community solar are crucial in support of local decision-making and promoting the adoption of distributed solar. Additional essential policies include net metering, simplified interconnection rules, property assessed clean energy, a renewable portfolio standard carve-out for solar or distributed energy, and solar or solar-ready mandates for buildings. We track these policies and others in our Community Power Map.

ILSR’s State(s) of Distributed Solar analysis is updated annually. For a historical snapshot, explore our archived analyses of distributed solar by state in 2020201920182017, and 2016.

This article originally posted at For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter or get the Energy Democracy weekly update.


Author: US DOE SETO Staff        Published: 6/6/2022       SETO

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

DPA Invocation Will Boost American Production of the Critical Technologies Necessary to Lower Energy Costs, Support the Clean Energy Economy, and Strengthen National Security 

WASHINGTON, D.C.— President Biden today issued presidential determinations providing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with the authority to utilize the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate domestic production of five key energy technologies: (1) solar; (2) transformers and electric grid components; (3) heat pumps; (4) insulation; and (5) electrolyzers, fuel cells, and platinum group metals. The DPA determinations are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s plan to lower energy costs for families, strengthen national security, and achieve lasting American energy independence that reduces demand for fossil fuels and bolsters our clean energy economy.

“President Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act so that the U.S. can take ownership of its clean energy independence,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “For too long the nation’s clean energy supply chain has been over-reliant on foreign sources and adversarial nations. With the new DPA authority, DOE can help strengthen domestic solar, heat pump and grid manufacturing industries while fortifying America’s economic security and creating good-paying jobs, and lowering utility costs along the way.”

“Reducing America’s dependence on gas and oil is critical to U.S. national security,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks. “In conflict, fossil fuel supply lines are especially vulnerable. The actions President Biden announced today will help strengthen our supply chains and ensure that the United States is a leader in producing the energy technologies that are essential to our future success. They will also help accelerate DoD’s transition toward clean energy technologies that can help strengthen military capability while creating good jobs for American workers.”

Demand for clean energy technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps, and electrolyzers for hydrogen has increased significantly as the costs of these technologies have plummeted over the last decade. As the world transitions to a clean energy economy, global demand for these essential products and components is set to skyrocket by 400-600% over the next several decades. Unless the U.S. expands new manufacturing, processing, and installation capacity, we will be forced to continue to rely on clean energy imports—exposing the nation to supply chain vulnerabilities, while simultaneously missing out on the enormous job opportunities associated with the energy transition.

Defense Production Act Authority 

We must harness the United States’s untapped potential to support greater domestic production for domestic use and export. With today’s DPA actions, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking bold action to support U.S. clean energy manufacturing and supply chains. This will strengthen U.S. national and climate security while reducing energy costs for American families. These technologies, products, and component materials will be made in America, creating more good-paying union jobs. In using the DPA to support clean energy manufacturing, the Department will encourage recipients of federal support to use strong labor standards, including project labor agreements and community benefits agreements that include local hire provisions. In addition, the Department encourages use of the tools unlocked by the DPA to support low-income communities who have been hard-hit with pollution.

Technologies Included in the President’s DPA Announcement

DPA authority, with the necessary funding appropriated by Congress, will allow the federal government to invest in companies that can build clean energy facilities, expand clean energy manufacturing, process clean energy components, and install clean energy technologies for consumers.

  • Solar — Solar photovoltaic (PV) energy is the largest source of new U.S. electricity generation capacity and the cheapest new electricity source in many regions of the country. However, domestic solar PV production does not meet current demand. By supporting a secure, stable, diversified, and competitive domestic solar supply chain, President Biden’s actions will increase national security, promote energy independence, help to address the urgent threat of climate change, and drive down energy costs for American consumers.
  • Transformers and Grid Components — The U.S. is highly reliant on foreign-sourced critical electric grid components. Traditional industrial efforts are insufficient to meet the unprecedented growth in electrification necessary to support U.S. decarbonization, defense against cyber-security attacks, and critical infrastructure maintenance, and are not positioned to respond to the demands of U.S. electricity needs in the near-term. By expanding the domestic production of transformers and critical grid components to enable the reliable and increased use of the electric power system, the U.S. would immediately enhance its domestic energy security, decrease vulnerability of U.S. infrastructure, and ultimately support climate security and stability worldwide. Supply chain delays are leading to wait times in rural and urban parts of the U.S. of up to two years for crucial grid components. Independent estimates indicate that we need to expand electricity transmission systems by 60% by 2030 and may need to triple it by 2050 to meet the country’s increase in renewable generation and expanding electrification needs. President Biden’s invocation of the DPA will support a robust domestic supply of modern grid components, which is necessary to strengthen and modernize the nation’s grid and will accelerate customers’ ability to get electricity from clean sources.
  • Heat Pumps — Our nation’s buildings, homes, offices, schools, hospitals, military bases, and other critical facilities drive more than 40% of all U.S. energy consumption. To reduce the amount of energy needed in our buildings, leading to less reliance by the U.S. and allies on adversaries such as Russia for oil and gas, heat pumps are an important solution. Their use by the U.S. and allies can shrink Russian revenue for war and reduce climate instability. However, currently, U.S. HVAC manufacturers are not producing heat pumps at the rate needed. The Biden-Harris Administration can help American manufacturing expand and expedite the installation of heat pumps in homes and residential buildings by qualified building professionals.
  • Insulation — About half of all homes in the U.S. were built before modern-day building energy codes, meaning they lack contemporary insulation, causing energy to seep out. At a time when conserving energy means limiting the reliance by the U.S. and allies on adversaries such as Russia for oil and gas, building retrofits can reduce energy use by 50% or more. In addition to lowering energy costs for families and increasing the domestic clean energy workforce, well-insulated buildings also provide “passive survivability,” meaning that they can retain a safe indoor temperature for longer in the event of energy disruptions, reducing casualties from extreme weather. While U.S. insulation production is currently sufficient to cover new construction and some retrofits, we must also rapidly insulate older buildings to further reduce energy demand. President Biden’s actions will help expand insulation manufacturing to meet this need.
  • Electrolyzers, Fuel Cells, and Platinum Group Metals — Electrolyzers, fuel cells, and platinum group metal (PGM) catalysts are vital for increasing domestic production and utilization of clean hydrogen, a versatile energy carrier. Clean hydrogen produced through electrolysis is projected to contribute significantly to achieving U.S. decarbonization goals. President Biden’s actions supporting domestic supply chains for electrolyzers, fuel cells, and PGM catalysts will enhance national and energy security by reducing U.S. reliance on imported fossil fuels, particularly Russia (the world’s second-largest producer of PGMs) and China. Consumers will benefit from clean hydrogen’s price stability relative to fossil fuels, cost reductions as the hydrogen economy scales up, and resilient domestic supply chains.

DOE’s Continued Commitment to Bolstering a Domestic Clean Energy Supply Chain 

In February, DOE launched the new Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains to secure energy supply chains needed to modernize America’s energy infrastructure and support the full transition to clean energy. DOE will also partner with the energy and utility industry, labor unions, and community groups to explore a variety of options on supply chain issues, including through the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council. DOE recently released a major set of reports on the energy supply chain laying out the nation’s first comprehensive strategy for the energy industrial base with a focus on securing the transition to clean energy.

Following this announcement, DOE and the White House will continue to convene relevant industry, labor, and community stakeholders as we maximize the impact of the DPA tools made available by President Biden’s actions and strengthen domestic clean energy manufacturing.


U.S. Department of Energy on TwitterBIG NEWS 📣@POTUS has authorized @ENERGY to use the Defense Production Act to boost our clean energy domestic supply chains. This means lower prices, good-paying jobs for Americans, and a cleaner, healthier environment for all! #SolarShines