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Shaheen, Hassan & Kuster Announce $400,000 Department of Energy Grant For Dartmouth Solar Research Project

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced with Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) that the Department of Energy will award Dartmouth College $400,000 to support a new research project that advances early-stage solar technologies to lower electricity costs and create jobs in the solar economy. 

“Dartmouth College’s pioneering research into solar technology holds great potential for continued renewable energy development,” said Senator Shaheen. “Congratulations to Professor Liu and his team on this federal award, which will help advance research into solar technologies. Investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and projects are important for our environment and for creating jobs, and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll continue to fight for funding that supports these efforts.” 

“This $400,000 grant to Dartmouth College will help foster more innovation in solar technologies that will help lower energy costs and support the solar industry’s growing workforce,” said Senator Hassan. “Solar technology has seen remarkable advancements over the last decade, and I am looking forward to its continued growth as we work to build a more affordable and cleaner energy future for New Hampshire and for the country.” 

“I am pleased that Dartmouth College was selected for a $400,000 award through the Department of Energy to fund the development of innovative solar energy technologies,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “The recent growth in the solar power industry has created jobs and economic opportunity for thousands of hard working Granite Staters. Colleges and universities are the incubators for future technological advancements and breakthroughs, and today’s announcement will ensure that Dartmouth and New Hampshire can continue to lead the way to deploy more affordable renewable energy sources throughout the state.” 

Dr. Jifeng Liu, Principal Investigator of the Project, said, “We are honored to receive this award to continue our research and technology transfer on air-stable, high-temperature, ultrahigh efficiency solar selective coatings. It is very exciting to contribute to DOE’s goal of  5¢/kWh for concentrated solar power system by 2030 and expedite its commercial applications via collaborations with Norwich Technologies, a local high-tech company led by Dr. Troy McBride (Thayer ‘01) and Joel Stettenheim (Dartmoth Ph.D. ’12).”

"Dr. Liu's technology has the potential to break through a long-standing 'sound barrier' to the widespread use of solar power: the difficulty in creating stable, ultra-high-efficiency concentrated solar power system with facile and cost-effective energy storage capability,” said Dartmouth Vice Provost for Research Dean Madden. “With previous support from the DOE and an NSF Small Business Innovation Research award, Dr Liu's lab has developed a brand-new technology with unprecedented characteristics. This award will help to bring that technology closer to commercial deployment, creating high-value jobs, fueling innovation, and helping to provide clean power for the future."

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Shaheen helped secure increased funding for several energy efficiency and renewable energy programs at the Department of Energy as part of the omnibus funding bill for fiscal year 2018. Shaheen also reintroduced the Clean Energy Grid Act, legislation that would help identify and overcome technical and regulatory barriers to the wider use of cleaner and more efficient energy technologies, including solar technologies.

More About the Solar Energy Technologies Office:

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office supports early-stage research and development to improve the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. Learn more at