Energy and Climate

Sandia’s research in solar photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) helps advance the mission of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative to decrease total cost of solar energy systems by 75% by 2020 and make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity generation without subsidies.

Sandia researchers address technical and market barriers to SunShot goals of high solar energy penetration by evaluating and improving the performance, reliability, and cost effectiveness of solar systems, materials, and balance of systems (BOS). Sandia also helps enable high levels of solar penetration on the electricity grid through extensive research in distribution systems integration.

Sandia partners with industry and other solar stakeholders to ensure thorough and balanced research. To learn more about working with us, visit the lab’s Partnerships page.

Photovoltaics & Distributed Systems Integration Research

  • Reducing Soft Costs of Rooftop Solar Installations Attributed to Structural Considerations
  • Mitigating Industry-Wide Risks through Data Collection and Assessment
  • Development of Design Templates and Standardized Suitability Criteria to Expedite Permitting for Solar Power Plants
  • Increasing Prediction Accuracy and Confidence in PV System Performance
  • Advancing Solar Integration on Transmission Systems
  • Residential and Commercial Real Estate and PV Energy Systems: Providing Credible Estimates of Premiums to Drive Demand and Lower BOS Costs
  • Accelerating Cost-Effective Deployment of Solar Generation on the Distribution Grid
  • Accelerating Development of Advanced Inverters
  • Advanced Solar Resource Modeling and Analysis
  • Advanced Measurement and Analysis of PV Derate Factors
  • Characterizing Emerging Photovoltaic Technologies
  • Prognostics and Health Management

Concentrating Solar Power

  • Demonstration of Key Components to Support Thermal Storage for Dish Stirling Systems
  • High-Temperature Solar Selective Coating Development for Power Tower Receivers
  • National Solar Thermal Test Facility Maintenance and Development

SunShot News

Solar Regional Test Center in Vermont Achieves Milestone InstallationThe solar industry is now more than 60% of the way toward achieving the DOE SunShot Initiative affordability goal of $0.06 per kilowatt-hour for solar electricity. Meeting the last 40% without compromising quality will be challenging. To help US industry demonstrate and validate that new PV technologies can consistently perform over time, the DOE —in […]
Planting the “SEEDS” of Solar Technology in the HomeTo better understand what persuades people to buy photovoltaic (PV) systems for their homes, Sandia re­searchers are gathering data on consumer motivations that can feed sophisticated computer models and thus lead to greater use of solar energy. A primary project goal is to help increase the nation’s share of solar energy in the electricity market […]
Sandia-AREVA Commission Solar Thermal/Molten Salt Energy-Storage DemonstrationAREVA and Sandia began operations of their molten salt energy-storage demonstration plant designed specifically for use with AREVA’s compact linear Fresnel reflector (CLFR) technology. Funded partially by DOE, this full-scale project is being carried out at Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) in Albuquerque. Thanks to their significant collaboration, AREVA’s solar team and Sandia’s […]

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