Tag Archives: Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative

This initiative could counteract the impact of the U.S. solar tariffs

Written by Heather Clancy, GreenBiz

The initiative could have a particularly profound impact for on-site or smaller community-scale projects ranging from 1 megawatt to 10 MWs in size, according to the RMI team. “The corporate buyer will get a lower cost over time,” said Kiernan Coleman, senior associate at
RMI . . . RMI CEO Jules Kortenhorst likened the effort to the Department of Energy’s highly successful SunShot Initiative — formed back in 2011 with the aim of cutting the costs of solar energy by 75 percent. Read more here.

Photo: Kearney Community Solar

RMI Press Release Announcing The Initiative
2018 Solar Cost Reductions Will Offset Impact of New Tariffs on Panel Prices

Modular, pre-engineered and pre-assembled solar product to lower costs by additional $0.20/Wp in 2018, according to Rocky Mountain Institute and industry leaders.

Boulder, Colorado – Rocky Mountain Institute and 35 solar energy industry leaders committed to develop an ultra-low-cost solar product able to operate in a variety of environments at fully installed costs as low as $0.50/Wp. Participants at the Rocky Mountain Institute-hosted event, representing at least 15 gigawatts of solar capacity—equivalent to the capacity of 25 average-sized coal plants—identified an opportunity to reduce costs by $0.20/Wp in 2018 alone. Reducing costs at this scale would mitigate the effect of newly applied trade restrictions on solar components, keeping the solar energy industry on a maintained cost-reduction pathway. Continue reading here.

Wp (watt peak capacity) = a solar panel’s maximum power output under optimal conditions.  1,000 Wp = 1 kWp.

National Workforce Programs Administered by The Solar Foundation

Click image to view YouTube Video – Solar Ready Vets:
Preparing Veterans for the Solar Workforce

In September 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative launched a pilot phase of the Solar Ready Vets training program for transitioning military personnel to prepare our nation’s skilled veterans to join the growing U.S. solar energy industry. After successful completion of the pilot program on several military bases, Solar Ready Vets became a fully funded program in 2016, administered by The Solar Foundation. All future military bases will be determined by The Solar Foundation in conjunction with the Energy Department and the Department of Defense. View the above video to learn more about Solar Ready Vets. 

Click infographic to enlarge it. 

How To Hire Veterans In Solar Energy
The Department of Veterans Affairs created the Veterans Employment Center to help connect employers and veterans who are seeking employment.

  • If you are a veteran, type “solar” into the search bar, and a location if you are searching for employment within a specific geographic area.
  • If you are a solar employer, search veteran profiles and post job openings within your company.

The Solar Training Network is another national program administered by The Solar Foundation. This program is designed to help meet the workforce needs of the solar industry through solar training and strategic employment partnerships.

The Solar Training Network Benefits:

  • Connection opportunities with training providers, employers, and job seekers
  • A job seeker-to-employer connection platform through a robust, member-only web portal
  • Solar job fairs and other regional training events
  • Solar training resources and content
  • A national directory of solar training providers
  • A comprehensive national solar company directory

SunShot $1 per Watt Solar Cost Goal: Mission Accomplished, Years Ahead of Schedule

By Eric Wesoff, Greentech Media

With the advent of $1.00-per-watt (DC) pricing for utility fixed-tilt PV systems, the solar industry has crushed the SunShot Program’s $1.00-per-watt goal for 2020 three years early . . . The intrepid analysts at GTM Research were tracking utility solar at close to $4.00 per watt in early 2011. The SunShot initiative hoped to reduce the total costs of PV solar energy systems by about 75 percent so that they were cost-competitive with other forms of energy without subsidies before 2020. Chu said that SunShot would work to bring down the cost of solar — by focusing on four main pillars: Read more here.

Eric Wesoff is Editor-at-Large at Greentech Media. His expertise covers solar power, fuel cells, biofuels and advanced batteries. His strengths are in market research and analysis, business development and due diligence for investors. He frequently consults for energy startups and Silicon Valley’s premier venture capitalists. – Greentech Media’s Website

Analysis Shows That Community Solar Is Competitive in the Vast Majority of the US

Solar is cheap no matter where you live, writes SunShot’s Caroline McGregor. Published by Greentech Media


Because community solar projects are often larger and can take advantage of bulk pricing, their installed costs are more in-line with commercial solar systems, which cost approximately $2.00 per watt to $2.50 per watt. Holding everything else constant, the number of states in the analysis with positive SIRs [savings to investment ratios] increases to 35-48 states with these lower installed costs, which means solar energy is potentially affordable in the vast majority of the country through the community solar business model. Though this is a very basic analysis, it illustrates that solar is quickly becoming one of the most cost-effective sources of energy for all Americans, regardless of where they live. Read more.

Carolyn McGregor is the acting soft costs program manager for the DOE’s SunShot Initiative.

Want to Improve Wind and Solar Power? Bring Them Together, by Ben Jervey, Ensia
Ben Jervey is a writer and editor covering climate, energy, and environment. He writes regularly for National Geographic News, OnEarth, and DeSmogBlog. He recently worked with Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer.