The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $2 million to two San Francisco solar energy companies to help fund projects designed to make the technology more affordable.
Clean Power Finance won $1.5 million for two projects. It received $500,000 for an online marketplace to link consumers with people who can fix their equipment. It also received $1 million for an online brokerage to enable solar installers to access marketing and sales services from companies that can help them reach consumers in other regions, said James Tong, the company’s senior director of government programs management.
“We see these two awards as strong validation of our past success and our ability to revolutionize the industry going forward,” Tong said. “Both projects will create a more sophisticated system to efficiently exchange services within the solar industry, which will reduce costs and create more certainty for both residents and businesses.”
The company Genability was awarded $500,000 to create a large database designed to remotely estimate what a customer’s utility bill would be after installation of solar equipment.
“We founded the company to help make clean, cheap, abundant power a reality for all, and by partnering with the Department of Energy and SunShot we are contributing to making this a reality,” said Jason Riley, founder and CEO of Genability.
The department’s SunShot Incubator program, started in 2007, has awarded $60 million to solar companies for projects designed to reduce the overall cost of solar installation. That investment has leveraged more than $1.6 billion in venture capital and private equity investment, said Minh Le, chief engineer and deputy program manager for the project.
“Hopefully in the next several years, each of the projects will address different slices of the pie to help drive down the soft cost of solar installation for residential customers,” Le said.