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Golden Rays – July 2016

The Solar Newsletter is a monthly electronic newsletter that provides information on NREL's research and development of solar technologies.

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Hot Topics

Welcome to the First Golden Rays

For nearly 40 years, NREL has pushed the boundaries of what's possible, leading the way to a clean energy future with solar at the forefront. Today, our researchers are working with utilities, academia, and industry to continue pushing those boundaries. Our activities, from basic research to technology development to techno-economic analysis, are helping to accomplish the goal of the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiativeto make solar energy cost-competitive with other energy sources by 2020.

We hope you enjoy this new information resource and we welcome your feedback on how we can make this even more useful for you going forward.

Mary Werner, NREL Solar Program Manager

New Reports Identify Emerging Solar Energy R&D Opportunities 

NREL Leads Six of Eight SunShot Reports

Sarah Kurtz Honored for Clean Energy Leadership 

Kurtz received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her continuing contributions to photovoltaics. See the video or read the NREL news release.

Must Reads


Projects and Partnerships


In Touch With NREL Solar

Opportunities to Partner

What's a Watt Worth?

Join the Distributed Generation Interconnection Collaborative on August 17 at 2 p.m. ET. The DGIC team will discuss three novel approaches to valuing distributed energy resources (DER) from California, New York, and Texas.

Join the Solar Data Working Group

Created to help engage users of NREL's tools like OpenPV, the Utility Rate Database, PVWatts, and others. If you'd like information on either of these activities, contact

New CSP Website Launched

The NREL concentrating solar power website got a fresh look this summer. Check out the information on NREL's key research areas, latest publications, and other popular tools.

Upcoming Events

Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells and Modules Workshop

On August 28–31, 2016, the workshop promotes an informal exchange of technical and scientific information between international researchers in the photovoltaic and relevant non-photovoltaic fields.

PV Reliability Workshop

The 2017 PVRW is scheduled for Tuesday, February 28, to Thursday, March 2. Save the date!

Did you know?

There are now more than one million solar installations across the country, and the next million systems are expected to be installed during the next 2 years.