The U.S. Energy Department is offering $21.4 million to fund 17 new projects that help reduce the "soft costs" found with solar energy, such as installation, permits and connecting to the power grid.
Nine of the awards are for projects focusing on sustaining and growing the solar industry by understanding what motivates adaptation in low and moderate-income areas. The remainder focus on state and regional solar market challenges.
"Soft costs have been a pervasive barrier to widespread solar energy in the United States," Dr. Charlie Gay, director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office, said. "Finding new ways to cut these costs remains critical in accelerating solar deployment nationwide and making solar affordable for all Americans."
The projects today are funded by the Department's SunShot Initiative which supports safe, reliable and cost-effective solar energy solutions.
Through SunShot's SES work project, teams from 17 states including Arizona will work on gaining a better understanding of the economic and environmental benefits of solar projects and programs.
SunShot supports research and development efforts by nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions, private industry and national laboratories to make solar power affordable and accessible for everyone in the U.S.