North Carolina Receives New Energy Department Investment in Solar Energy
As part of the Energy Department's SunShot Initiative, which is working to make solar energy competitive with other forms of energy without subsidy by the end of the decade, the Energy Department today announced an $9 million investment to a North Carolina project that will help advance affordable, reliable clean energy for U.S. families and businesses, including innovative plug-and-play technologies aimed at improving grid connection and reducing installation costs.
"The price of solar panels has fallen dramatically in recent years, but we also need to reduce the cost and time required to actually install them in homes and businesses, and help utility companies better integrate renewable energy into the grid." said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "Projects like these can help reduce the cost of solar power and make it easier for American families and businesses to access clean, affordable energy."
Based in Raleigh, North Carolina State University will lead a project to create standard solar photovoltaic (PV) components and system designs that can adapt simply to any residential roof and can be installed and connected to the grid quickly and efficiently. The project will receive up to $9 million over five years, subject to Congressional appropriations.
Today’s announcement is part of a broader $21 million investment by the Energy Department to design plug-and-play PV systems that can be purchased, installed, and operational in one day. Plug-and-play PV systems will make the process of buying, installing and connecting solar energy systems faster, easier and less expensive for homeowners. This effort is part of the Department’s broader initiative to bring down “soft” or non-module hardware costs, which now account for a majority of the total costs of residential systems.
The SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort to make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade. Inspired by President Kennedy's "Moon Shot" program that put the first man on the moon, the SunShot Initiative has created new momentum for the solar industry by highlighting the need for American competitiveness in the clean energy race.