Solar Energy Innovation Network

Funding Agency:
Department of Energy

NREL seeks teams to apply for the Solar Energy Innovation Network’s (SEIN’s) third round by June 15, 2021. Selected teams will receive financial and analytical support to overcome barriers to equitable adoption of solar in underserved communities.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation, which has seen dramatic market growth over the past decade, can help address climate change and provide benefits such as electricity bill reduction, job creation, and local resiliency for households, organizations, and businesses. However, solar deployment to date has skewed towards some communities and demographics.

For example, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that in 2019 the median income of households that adopt solar is significantly higher than that of the average U.S. household. Research published in Nature Sustainability found that black-and Hispanic-majority census tracts have installed significantly less rooftop PV than no-majority and white-majority tracts.

To successfully and equitably address climate change, it is critical that residents, organizations, and businesses in underserved communities have the opportunity to leverage the benefits that solar energy can provide to meet their needs.

Round 3 of the Innovation Network is focused on overcoming barriers to equitable solar PV adoption in underserved communities. To drive the innovation necessary to meet this challenge, SEIN Round 3 is seeking multi-stakeholder teams focused on one of two topics:

  • Topic A: Elevating equity in residential solar deployment – This topic is focused on developing solutions that expand equity in residential, behind-the-meter solar deployment.
  • Topic B: Elevating equity in commercial-scale solar deployment — This topic is focused on expanding equity in solar deployment at the commercial-scale, such as at offices, warehouses, hospitals, hotels, retail stores, schools, nonprofits, or higher-education facilities. This topic only applies to commercial-scale solar that is sited within underserved communities.

Deadline: June 15, 2021




Community Outreach and Engagement
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

June 15, 2021