Solar power array

Solar panels are pictured at the BP America Gasosaurus Gas Unit well site in Lufkin, Texas, in June 2018.

WASHINGTON — Members of the state’s Congressional delegation announced Monday that $1.9 million in federal grant money is headed to New Hampshire to fund research projects aimed at advancing solar technology.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, along with Sen. Maggie Hassan and Congressman Chris Pappas, all D-NH, said in a joint statement that the $1.9 million in federal grant funds had been awarded through the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, which looks to support research projects that will lower solar energy costs, strengthen the manufacturing of solar technology and strengthen the cybersecurity of solar tech systems.

Roughly $1.2 million of the grant funding is expected to be allocated to the University of New Hampshire to support a project aimed at increasing access to solar technology in low-income communities through the expansion of solar finance training for employees at local financial institutions.

The DOE will also award $700,000 to Hampton’s Brayton Energy to support research designed to improve heat exchangers — critical for the cooling of solar-thermal power plants to withstand mechanical stress.

“Clean energy sources, including solar energy, are key to achieving our goals of energy independence, reducing carbon emissions to address climate change and promoting economic growth,” said Shaheen in a statement. “These federal grant awards will bolster the exciting and important work to develop solar energy and promote its use in communities throughout New Hampshire.”

“These Department of Energy grants will help make possible two New Hampshire projects that can make a tangible difference in promoting solar power and furthering our efforts to move toward a renewable energy economy,” said Hassan in a statement. “Congratulations to Brayton Energy and the University of New Hampshire. I look forward to seeing what you accomplish, and I will continue to advocate in Congress along with my colleagues in the New Hampshire delegation for critical grants like these.”

“Investing in renewable energy is one of the most effective ways to create jobs, combat climate change, and build a more sustainable future for all Granite Staters,” said Pappas in a statement. “I am glad to see the Department of Energy is working alongside local partners to not only improve our technology but also increase the use of clean energy across our state.”

“This grant from the Department of Energy for advancing solar technologies is a great example of how UNH addresses major societal issues by fostering collaboration among experts across a broad range of disciplines,” said Kevin Gardner, vice provost for research at UNH.

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