Washington, DC - Monday, the Energy Department announced the first round of Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology (SBIR/STTR) program selections. The Solar Energy Technologies Office will award $200,000 to 23 companies to study the feasibility of their proposed projects and develop a proof of concept. This is the first phase of the funding program, which is designed to help small businesses commercialize new ideas.

This funding opportunity features two solar technology transfer topics and five solar research topics. Under technology transfer, Sunfig Corporation in Oakland, CA, will be working on real-time series resistance monitoring in photovoltaic (PV) systems, and Atonometrics in Austin, TX, will be studying a PV module soiling spectral deposition detector. The research selections are:

  • Topic: Storage Technologies to Enable Low-Cost Dispatchable Solar PV Generation
    • Jolt Energy Storage Technologies – Holland, MI
    • Starfire Energy – Aurora, CO
  • Topic: Hardened Solar System Design and Operation for Recovery from Extreme Events
    • Heila Technologies – Somerville, MA
    • Norwich Technologies – White River Junction, VT
    • Quest Renewables – Atlanta, GA
  • Topic: Rural Solar
    • FarmAfield Labs – Lincoln, NE
    • Helical Solar Solutions – Austin, TX
    • Phase3 Photovoltaics – Portland, OR
    • Skysun – Bay Village, OH
    • Soliculture – Scotts Valley, CA
    • Tectonicus Constructs – Bisbee, AZ
  • Topic: Affordability, Reliability, and Performance of Solar Technologies on the Grid
    • BREK Electronics Corporation – Englewood, COCeramic Tubular Products – Lynchburg, VA
    • L’Garde – Tustin, CA
    • NexTC Corporation – Corvallis, OR
    • Norwich Technologies – White River Junction, VT
    • Powdermet – Euclid, OH
  • Topic: Innovation in Solar Module Manufacturing Processes and Technologies (this is a joint topic with the Advanced Manufacturing Office)
    • Direct Solar – Fort Collins, CO
    • GVD Corporation – Cambridge, MA
    • NanoFlex Power Corporation – Scottsdale, AZ
    • NanoSonic – Pembroke, VA

Visit this webpage to learn more about the solar project selections and to see a full list of the solar office’s past and present SBIR and STTR projects.


The SBIR/STTR programs are competitive funding opportunities that encourage U.S.-based small businesses to engage in high-risk, innovative research and technology development with the potential for future commercialization. The program is managed by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and awards projects in technology areas across the entire department. It is part of the larger SBIR program across the federal government, which is administered by the Small Business Administration.