Quantcast

3 Companies the Government is Depending on to Lower Cost of Going Solar

Business

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is relying on three companies to help lower the cost of going solar through the development of innovative technologies.

The DOE is so confident in these firms that it awarded them a combined $2.2 million on Monday to get the job done. The grants are part of the third round of the SunShot Incubator Program, which seeks to lower the average utility-scale PV project price to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) by 2020. That figure stood at $0.11 per kWh by the end of 2013.

The three California-based small businesses will drive down both the hardware costs as well as the “soft costs,” such as permits and installation.

The Energy Department today announced $2.2 million for three California projects to help lower the costs of solar electricity and increase deployment nationwide.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The CEO of one of the companies, SolarNexus of San Francisco, was elated to learn about its grant.

“SolarNexus is excited and honored to be selected for this award,” Eric Alderman, CEO of SolarNexus, said in a statement. “Since our founding, SolarNexus has been focused on leveraging technology to reduce the soft costs for solar installers and other downstream stakeholders. The ecosystem of applications we are creating through this project will not only significantly enhance and simplify the business operations of our customers, but also those well beyond the SolarNexus user base.”

Here are the companies and a brief description from the DOE on the projects they will work on:

  • Genability of San Francisco will receive $1 million to create a comparison report that determines the optimum payment plan for solar customers using an analysis of projected versus actual solar savings and a monthly savings statement. Genability is also implementing a "Verified by Genability" certification that will help solar installers lower the cost of preparing bids and expand their business.

  • Belmont-based CelLink Corp. will receive $704,000 to create a new circuit that will be used to build high-efficiency solar panels. By using less expensive materials and processes, this new circuit could reduce the costs of manufacturing these silicon photovoltaic modules by 10 percent.

  • SolarNexus Inc. will receive nearly $497,000 to build the industry’s first integrated ecosystem of software apps that allows disparate software tools to work together, allowing solar contractors and others in the residential and commercial solar markets to install solar at a lower cost. The online platform will leverage an existing, publicly available data standard for the transfer of client- and project-related information—automating processes and lowering the costs of customer acquisition and labor.

The DOE launched its SunShot Initiative in 2011, partnering with industry groups, universities, local communities and federal laboratories to drive innovation and lower the cost of solar energy. The cost has already dropped by 10 cents per kWh since 2010.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Record flood water levels in Venice hit again on Sunday making this the worst week of flooding in the city in over 50 years.

Read More Show Less

By Brian Barth

Late fall, after the last crops have been harvested, is a time to rest and reflect on the successes and challenges of the gardening year. But for those whose need to putter around in the garden doesn't end when cold weather comes, there's surely a few lingering chores. Get them done now and you'll be ahead of the game in spring.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
(L) Selma Three Stone Engagement Ring. (R) The Greener Diamond Farm Project. MiaDonna

By Bailey Hopp

If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.

Read More Show Less
(L) 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle that is studded with glycoprotein tubercles.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC

The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.

Read More Show Less
Austin Nuñez is Chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation, which joined with the Hopi and Pascua Yaqui Tribes to fight a proposed open-pit copper mine on sacred sites in Arizona. Mamta Popat

By Alison Cagle

Rising above the Arizona desert, the Santa Rita Mountains cradle 10,000 years of Indigenous history. The Tohono O'odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Hopi Tribe, among numerous other tribes, have worshipped, foraged, hunted and laid their ancestors to rest in the mountains for generations.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The Navajo Nation has suffered from limited freshwater resources as a result of climate, insufficient infrastructure, and contamination. They collaborated with NASA to develop the Drought Severity Evaluation Tool. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.

Read More Show Less
Wild Exmoor ponies graze on a meadow in the Czech Republic. rapier / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Nanticha Ocharoenchai

In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.

Read More Show Less

Despite huge strides in improving the lives of children since 1989, many of the world's poorest are being left behind, the United Nations children's fund UNICEF warned Monday.

Read More Show Less