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Current SunShot Incubator Projects

Projects funded under the SunShot Incubator Program allow start-up businesses to yield breakthrough technologies and game-changing insights. The following projects are in progress.

Learn more about past projects.


  • Location: Palo Alto, CA
  • Award Amount: $400,000
  • Project Summary: Aurora Solar is building a cloud-based optimization platform that automates the design, engineering and permit generation functions of a solar photovoltaic installation. The optimization function will consider usage data, utility rates, solar component characteristics, irradiance and shading data to generate optimal site-specific plans.
  • Location: Carbondale, CO
  • Award Amount: $699,999
  • Project Summary: Clean Energy Collective is developing a national online portal to provide access to proven community solar solutions. NCSP (National Community Solar Platform) will make the resources needed to navigate the complex legal, financial, and transactional issues associated with community solar available to EPCs (engineering, procurement, and construction), utilities, and community advocates. This will dramatically lower the costs required to enter the market and allow for the rapid expansion of community solar nationwide.
  • Location: Middlebury, VT
  • Award Amount: $1,000,000
  • Project Summary: Faraday is developing a data management platform that uncovers superior customer acquisition strategies to order to improve lead conversion rates. The map-driven tool includes nearly a terabyte of data on 100 million U.S. households and leverages advanced machine-learning algorithms to pinpoint households most likely to invest in solar. Solar installers, financers, and original equipment manufacturers will use Faraday to explore markets, construct audiences, launch outreach campaigns, and track and compare results for measurable improvements in return on investment.
  • Location: Rochester, NY
  • Award Amount: $450,000
  • Project Summary: Intrinsiq Materials nanoparticle based electronic inks enable solar cell and electronic device manufacturers to print copper and Nickel silicide in open air at a fraction of the price of silver. Intrinsiq's lead free additive printing process reduces material waste and harsh chemical use, providing manufacturers with a greener solution.
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Award Amount: $500,000
  • Project Summary: kWh Analytics will create a risk management software platform centered on a predictive score ("kWh Score") that enables investors to statistically quantify production risk for any solar investment in the United States. The kWh Score will be the output of a cutting-edge statistical model that is built atop the kWh Database, which is the solar industry's largest independent database of historical operating performance data (40,000+ systems).
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Award Amount: $650,000
  • Project Summary: Mosaic is introducing a simple, low-cost home solar loan product and installer platform integrated into residential solar developers' sales processes, which will lower capital costs and dramatically increase project leads and close rates for partners, driving down overhead and customer acquisition costs.
  • Location: White River Junction, VT
  • Award Amount: $677,504
  • Project Summary: Norwich Technologies is working to commercialize its highly-efficient receiver design that enables the concentrating solar power (CSP) industry to realize higher outputs from parabolic trough plants, especially as the industry adopts higher temperature (higher-T) solar fields. Combined with a low-cost, high-accuracy collector, this solar field design will offer an unprecedented combination of high output and low price for trough CSP. In addition to working on the receiver, Norwich is working with project partners to build a collector (trough mirror) that will use a suspension structure instead of the traditional truss structure—dramatically reducing the amount of steel used in a CSP system which is a primary cost driver.
  • driving efficiency and scalability while reducing costs and mitigating risk.
  • Location: Fayetteville, AR
  • Award Amount: $800,000
  • Project Summary: Picasolar is developing a single step hydrogen treatment to optimize the emitter of n-type solar cells, resulting in improved conversion efficiency and reduced silver gridlines. The company has proven this technology on small area devices. During this award Picasolar will scale up its tool and process to handle commercial-sized solar cells.
  • Location: Summit, NJ
  • Award Amount: $1,749,892
  • Project Summary: Qado Energy's advanced distribution analytics platform GridUnityTM will be used by utilities and distributed energy resource (DER) developers to accelerate the engineering and economic decision making required for the reliable interconnection of DER from months to minutes. The capability to radically reduce the time it takes to analyze complex situations and make fact-based decisions reduces stakeholder risk and enables a sea change in business operations and customer engagement.
  • Location: Honolulu, HI
  • Award Amount: $498,918
  • Project Summary: SafeConnect Solar is building a prototype of its patent-pending device that pre-engineers hardware and software-based safety mechanisms into residential photovoltaic (PV) systems so that the system can be safely installed by non-specialized labor. SafeConnect's product reduces installation labor costs, will reduce customer acquisition, design, and permitting costs, and makes PV systems safer to install, own, and maintain.
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Award Amount: $1,000,000
  • Project Summary: Sighten is building a comprehensive software platform to streamline and consolidate the disparate tools currently used to deploy and manage capital in distributed generation solar assets. The platform spans the entire lifecycle of a solar asset from tools to improve origination and pricing to features that automate ongoing reporting and analytics,
  • Location: Charlotte, NC
  • Award Amount: $1,000,000
  • Project Summary: SineWatts is transforming the PV power plant for mainstream generation with its patent pending Inverter Molecule that completely eliminates any inverter footprint by miniaturizing and siliconizing the hardware into the PV panel junction box. A SineWatts power plant will have 70% lower landed inverter cost while providing advanced grid assist for next generation grid integration requirements.
  • Location: Richmond, CA
  • Award Amount: $1,000,000
  • Project Summary: Smash Solar is developing a simple, snap-together, module-integrated photovoltaic (PV) mounting system which will dramatically reduce the time, effort and skill needed to install rooftop solar. Smash Solar will focus on refining their design, engaging in customer trials and beginning certification and code compliance testing.
  • Location: Millbrae, CA
  • Award Amount: $875,000
  • Project Summary: Stem is developing a software platform for energy storage evaluation and automated storage system control. The project will improve the application of distributed storage in areas with high photovoltaic penetration while lowering grid integration costs and improving grid stability.
  • Location: Arvada, CO
  • Award Amount: $420,962
  • Project Summary: Sundog Solar Technology is developing the world's first high-performance front-surface solar reflector using low-cost high-volume manufacturing methods. Nanoparticles are incorporated into the reflector to enhance abrasion resistance and reduce cleaning requirements. System costs are reduced, and overall system efficiency is enhanced because more heat is provided to the working fluids.
  • Location: Silver Spring, MD
  • Award Amount: $968,120
  • Project Summary: Solar Grid Storage will develop a Solar Storage Operations Center (SSOC) to address the unique needs of managing grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) + storage assets. The SSOC will make it possible to bring together multiple storage sites and enhance grid stability with every new PV + storage resource installed, all the while reducing deployment costs. A scalable solution, the SSOC will help mitigate concerns about high-penetration PV deployment by enabling cost-effective control of residential, commercial, and utility-scale PV + storage systems.
  • Location: Boston , MA
  • Award Amount: $700,000
  • Project Summary: Sungage Financial is a marketplace that provides homeowners with easy, online access to low-cost financing for solar equipment. Through its pilot activities in MA and CT, Sungage has gained expertise in how to meet the needs of consumers, installers, and capital providers in order to successfully and efficiently deliver financing solutions. Sungage will expand through partnerships with solar installation companies in active solar markets nationwide.
  • Location: Walnut Creek, CA
  • Award Amount: $384,000
  • Project Summary: Sunlayar is developing a cloud-based software platform that utilizes augmented reality to decrease permitting, design and installation costs through the use of ground breaking visual computing technology. Sunlayar Augmented Reality Edition - as experienced through tablets and wearable tech - further simplifies the human-computer interactions necessary to drive Sunlayar's disruptive solar project lifecycle automation platform. This application will be able to pare down labor roles, and reduce the skill level and time required in the residential solar process through algorithmic business process automation.
  • Location: Richmond, CA
  • Award Amount: $585,000
  • Project Summary: SunPower is developing a module-level power electronics device for lowering day one soft costs in utility scale solar. This project focuses on device development, field testing, and preparing the device for high volume manufacturing.
  • Location: Tully and Cortland, NY
  • Award Amount: $398,379
  • Project Summary: Sunvestment Group is developing a web-based service platform and partner program that will allow prospective site hosts, solar developers, and investors to connect and access the documentation templates necessary to structure and complete Community-based Power Purchase Agreements (CPPA). Sunvestment Group's approach provides the potential to significantly expand PPA usage in the underserved mid-market segment (20 kW–1 MW), obtain cost of capital reductions of 20-50% through CPPAs, while keeping investment opportunities and returns within the community and leading to a local economic development multiplier effect.
  • Location: Palo Alto, CA
  • Award Amount: $500,000
  • Project Summary: Village Power Finance is implementing an innovative web platform and app to streamline the project development, fundraising and asset management processes for the dramatically under-served commercial and non-profit markets. This highly scalable model will leverage the investment power of community members, institutional investors, and corporate investors, while generating environmental improvements and investment opportunities at the community scale.

Incubator 8

  • Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Amount: $500,000
  • Project Summary: Demeter is offering solar lease or services agreement financing collected as an assessment on the property tax bill: PACE3P. By securing payments to the property, not the offtaker, PACE3P lowers LCOE by 20%, makes more deals "bankable" without a corporate guarantee, and enables the first uniform, scalable financing for commercial solar.
  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Amount: $1,250,000
  • Project Summary: The EnergySage Marketplace transforms the complex solar PV shopping process into a simple, online comparison-shopping experience. The unique, innovative platform provides unprecedented levels of choice, transparency, and information at no cost to consumers, who can compare quotes from multiple pre-screened installers in an apples-to-apples matrix format across all financing options. EnergySage slashes time and effort for both consumers and installers, significantly reducing customer acquisition costs, boosting consumer confidence, and accelerating mass market solar adoption.
  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Amount: $1,000,000
  • Project Summary: Genability is developing solar savings reports that installers and developers can deliver to their customers.  These savings reports are used by solar companies at the time of the sale to communicate to potential solar savings, as well as after install to deliver what actual savings have been achieved.  Genability is also developing a "Verified by Genability" certification that will go with these proposals and actual reports.  This verification will serve as a 3rd party assessment of potential and actual solar savings.  "Verified by Genability" will be the trusted 3rd party in communicating solar savings.
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennyslvania
  • Amount: $499,999
  • Project Summary: The Solar Socket is a device that adds a socket for plugging in a solar PV system between the electric meter and meter case. It streamlines the installation process by reducing wiring costs, scheduling requirements, and site inspection time and allows for swapping in new technologies as they emerge. In addition, a version with onboard metering and communications lets the power flow directly into the utility grid.
  • Location: San Luis Obispo, California
  • Amount: $1,003,605
  • Project Summary: RPC is developing an environmentally sealed inverter featuring plug-and-play installation and a maintenance-free lifetime equal to that of PV modules. The Macro-Micro is a modular 17-kW inverter that provides high system MPPT granularity and high system up time. Power is converted with a CEC efficiency of 98.5% and low-loss system intrafield power collection is accomplished at 600 Vac. This distributed multi-string inverter provides multi-megawatt PV projects with a low LCOE alternative to large central inverters.
  • Location: Oakland, California 
  • Amount: $496,987 
  • Project Summary: SolarNexus and its partners are working to integrate a range of software used for customer acquisition, system design, permitting, and monitoring -- resulting in the industry's first ecosystem of interoperable software applications. The integration of key functionality from separate software vendors will significantly eliminate data re-entry and enhance the productivity of solar professionals with a simplified software experience. The ecosystem will leverage the Integrated Energy Project model, an existing, publicly-available data standard for the transfer of solar project information. 
  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Amount: $1,600,000
  • Project Summary: Sunrun is creating an integrated system that will streamline solar project development through automatic design, costing, simulation, proposal generation, pricing, permitting, and field change management. This end-to-end platform will optimize system performance and greatly reduce project cost and lead-to-cash process time.

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Incubator 7

  • Location: Norwich, Vermont
  • Amount: $1,000,000
  • Project Summary: Solaflect Energy has developed a low-cost Suspension HeliostatTM that dramatically reduces steel usage by utilizing steel cables to stabilize mirror panels rather than steel truss structures. The SunShot project will focus on continued development of the heliostat design, design for robotic manufacture, reduction of manufacturing and installation labor requirements, and the transition to high volume commercialization.

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