U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Announces $45 Million Funding to Strengthen Domestic Solar Manufacturing

Representational image. Credit: Canva

The Biden-Harris administration has unveiled a major initiative aimed at bolstering the domestic solar manufacturing industry. As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a funding package of $45 million, which includes $18 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funds will support the pilot manufacturing of solar components, with the objective of establishing a domestic manufacturing sector capable of meeting the Administration’s solar deployment goals without relying on imported products.


The funding will also support the development of new dual-use solar technologies such as agrivoltaics and building-integrated photovoltaics, to create new markets for American products. Revitalizing the U.S. manufacturing sector is an essential component of President Biden’s economic strategy, Bidenomics. Since the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, 63 domestic manufacturing announcements have been made across the solar supply chain. This includes over 40 announcements made since August 2022 alone. According to a recent DOE report, domestic manufacturing of the components that make solar modules is key to achieving a clean grid.

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U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm emphasizing the positive impact of the Investing in America agenda, states “President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has led to a surge of solar manufacturing announcements and has created thousands of good paying, union jobs in solar deployment. With these innovative, made-in-America technologies, the Biden-Harris Administration is powering the clean energy transition, lowering electricity costs for hardworking Americans, and protecting the future for our children from the impacts of the climate crisis.” 


The concept of dual-use PV (photovoltaics), where PV panels serve additional functions beyond electricity generation, holds immense potential for expanding the PV market while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Other dual-use PV technologies include agrivoltaics, BIPV, floating PV, and vehicle-integrated PV. By integrating solar energy systems into existing landscapes and structures, dual-use PV can minimize land-use concerns with proper utilization of available spaces.

Under the Silicon Solar Manufacturing and Dual-use Photovoltaics Incubator funding opportunity, the DOE plans to support up to 12 projects. The projects will aim to establish a network of manufacturers along the domestic solar supply chain, focusing on the production of polysilicon, silicon ingots and wafers, solar cells, glass, and other module components. Additionally, the funding will promote the development of emerging dual-use PV sectors, particularly agrivoltaics, BIPV, floating PV, and vehicle-integrated PV. The objective is to expand the PV market and create opportunities for domestically manufactured products. To disseminate information and provide guidance to potential applicants, an informational webinar has been scheduled for July 12 at 4 p.m. ET. 

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The Biden administration’s commitment to building out domestic solar manufacturing extends beyond this funding announcement. The DOE recently announced its intention to release another funding opportunity of up to $36 million for research and development projects focused on advancing thin-film solar technologies like perovskite and cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV. Furthermore, $52 million has been allocated for 19 selected projects aimed at strengthening America’s domestic solar supply chain, with $10 million coming from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. An additional $30 million has been earmarked for technologies that facilitate the integration of solar energy into the grid. The administration has also launched the American-Made Solar Prize Round 7, a $4 million prize program designed to foster innovation in U.S. solar hardware and software technologies.

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