In recognition of the domestic need for energy independence, security, and the potential of solar-PV to contribute to these goals, the United States Department of Energy launched the SunShot initiative in 2010 aimed at decreasing the cost of solar energy by 75% by the end of the decade, to be achieved by reducing technology costs, grid integration costs, and accelerating solar deployment at reducing the cost of solar PV to $1 per Wp at utility scale by 2020. The goal of the SIMPLE BoS team is to develop a commercially ready, next-generation solar PV balance of system (BoS) design, and reduce racking/mounting hardware costs along with associated labor costs by 50% of industry best practice by re-engineering module design, integration, materials, and wire management while also limiting contingencies. The cost goal is a total system cost of $1.00 per watt ($0.06 per kilowatt hour). To date, a projected 33% reduction has already been achieved in sample 2012 installations, with the overall goal reduction of 56%.
Project contact: Kevin Caravati
Related stories: US Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Website