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Round 3: Solar PV Research

ARENA is currently calling for applications for its third competitive funding round under ARENA’s Research & Development Program focussing on early stage research in solar photovoltaics.

A total of $20 million in funding has been allocated to this round.

Expressions of Interest (EOIs) closed on Wednesday June 21 2017.

All Applicants will be notified in writing in early August as to whether they have been successful or unsuccessful in the EOI stage. Only successful applicants will be invited to submit a Full Application.

The submission deadline for Full Applications is 5pm Monday 4 September 2017.

Please refer to the Funding Guidelines for more detail on Full Application submission.

Funding Guidelines (2MB PDF)

R&D Round 3 FAQ for answers to frequently asked questions.

Solar R&D Round 3 Information Sessions for answers to frequently asked questions.

Solar PV3 Roadshow Presentation (1MB PDF)


Full Application Templates

Funding Agreement template (1MB PDF and 272KB DOC)

Compliance table (97KB PDF and 114KB DOC)

Knowledge Sharing Plan template (80KB PDF and 47KB DOC)

Knowledge Sharing Plan guide (106KB PDF and 12KB DOC)

Risk Management Plan template (701KB PDF and 70KB DOC)


Round Priorities

R&D Round 3 will contribute to ARENA’s Accelerating Solar PV Innovation investment priority, identified in ARENA’s Investment Plan.
Several decades of Australian solar PV R&D innovation has cascaded through global manufacturing supply chains and contributed to the dramatic decline in deployed solar PV we see today. Further solar PV cost reductions will allow solar PV to account for a much greater proportion of Australia’s energy needs.

Solar PV cells and modules comprise a significant proportion of the total cost of deployed solar PV. Improvements in solar PV cell and module costs can also lead to knock-on cost reductions through the rest of the solar value chain.

Round 3 aims to reduce the future cost of solar PV deployment through research and development on:

  1. Established and emerging solar cell technologies including lower cost materials, and/or improved efficiency and/or stability and/or reliability and/or scalability; and
  2. Established or emerging solar module technologies, including lower cost materials, and/or improved efficiency and/or reliability and/or durability.

Round 3 will be focussed on early stage research in solar PV. Eligible projects should be at the Technological Readiness Level 2-4 (inclusive) at the time of applying.
Please refer to the funding guidelines for further information.


The total funding allocation for Round 3 is approximately $20 million, which may be reduced or increased at the discretion of the ARENA Board.

It is expected that ARENA grants awarded to projects under Round 3 will be between $500,000 and $5 million.
No grants in excess of $10 million will be awarded for a single project.

Applicants are expected to provide at least matched funding on a 1:1 basis.

Key dates

Expressions of Interest are now closed.
Expressions of Interest were open from Wednesday 24 May 2017 until 5pm on Wednesday 21 June 2017

Full Applications are due 5pm Monday 4 September 2017
Full applications will open to invited applicants from early August 2017 and will close 5pm Monday 4 September.

Application Outcome: October 2017
Successful applicants will be notified by in late-October 2017.
ARENA will advise all applicants in writing of the outcome of their application.

Negotiation and finalisation of Funding Agreement: December 2017 – January 2018

How to apply

  1. Read the R&D Program Round 3: Solar PV Research Guidelines
  2. Make sure you are eligible to apply (see Part 3 of the Guidelines)
  3. Determine whether your proposal meets the Objectives of the Program (item 1.6 of the Guidelines) and the Round Priorities (item 3.8 of the Guidelines)
  4. Determine the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of your proposed project (see Appendix A of the Guidelines)
  5. Prepare responses to the merit criteria (Part 4 of the Guidelines)
  6. Submit your applications using ARENA’s Grant Management System ARENANet

Expressions of Interest will be accepted until 5pm on Wednesday 21 June. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Round 3 information sessions

Information sessions on R&D Round 3 will be held in early June in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

Date: Monday 5 June 2017
Time: 11:30am – 1:00pm (updated end time)
Location: Hub Australia Cafe, Level 6, 696 Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC, 3000


Date: Tuesday 6 June 2017
Time: 10.30am – 12.00pm
Location: ARENA Office, Level 0, Nishi NewActon, 2 Phillip Law St, Acton, Canberra, 2601


Date: Thursday 8 June 2017
Time: 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Location: UTS City Campus, Building 4 (Science Building), room CB04.03.321, 15 Broadway, Ultimo, NSW, 2007


How applications are assessed

ARENA will award grant funding to eligible applications on the basis of a competitive merit criteria assessment. Merit will be assessed on the basis of:

  • Applicant capability
  • Contribution to the Program objectives and the Round priorities
  • Project design and methodology
  • Financial viability and co-funding commitment
  • Knowledge sharing

Further information on the application and assessment process can be found the R&D Program Round 3: Solar PV Research Guidelines.

Knowledge Sharing

ARENA invests public money in renewable energy projects and sharing of project knowledge and data that supports commercialisation outcomes is the return ARENA expects on that investment.

All projects are expected to share knowledge from their projects.

Further information

Email us at (ensure that you include the phrase “R&D Round 3″ in the subject line of your email) or phone us on 1800 804 847 if you require further information on the Round.