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Current CSP Research Funding Opportunities

FEB 2024

DOE’s $30 million funding to advance solar fuels from concentrated solar

JAN 2024

Apply by March 6

Topic Areas
SIPS Topic Area 1: CSP (7-12 projects, $400,000 each)
This topic area will support small, focused projects investigating the applicability and robustness of novel ideas in CSP. Responsive concepts include all aspects of CSP plants with thermal energy storage, as well as solar-thermal industrial process heat innovations and solar-thermal fuel systems.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced the Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS) 2024 funding opportunity. This annual funding opportunity will award $6.5 million for seedling R&D projects that focus on innovative and novel ideas in photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) and are riskier than research ideas based on established technologies.

This funding opportunity is designed to streamline the application process to encourage applications from early-career researchers who have never applied or been selected for a SETO project award. Applicants must submit a plan to broaden the participation of well-qualified members of underrepresented groups on their teams. These efforts will help achieve the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal to increase the diversity of those working in applied energy research fields.

SETO expects to make approximately 14 to 24 awards, each ranging between $250,000 and $400,000. Diverse teams from universities, federally funded research and development centers, nonprofits, community-based organizations, state agencies, local governments, and solar developers are encouraged to apply.

Learn more about the topics in this funding opportunity and apply by March 6 at 5 p.m. ET. 

Small Innovative Projects Already Selected for $7.8 Million in Funding

DOE also announced the selection of 24 projects to receive a total of $7.8 million through the SIPS 2023 Funding Program. These projects, representing 12 different states, will support the government-wide approach to 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.
These novel, high-risk, and high-impact projects aim to produce significant results within the first year of performance, quickly validating new concepts and laying the foundation for continued research.

Of the 24 recipients, 10 are first-time lead researchers on a SETO-funded project.

Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power

Argonne National Laboratory (Lemont, IL)
CertainTeed LLC (Shakopee, MN)
Colorado School of Mines (Golden, CO) – multiple projects
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, CO) – multiple projects
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, TN)
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, WA)
Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM) – multiple projects
Tennessee Technological University (Cookeville, TN)
University of Dayton (Dayton, OH)

SIPS has funded more than 100 projects since it began in 2015. Learn more about the new funding opportunityselected projects, and other open funding opportunities within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.