DOE Invests $25 Million to Lower CSP Cost

October 6, 2014 By Karen Henry

CSP-energy-manageThe US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $25 million in funding to advance concentrating solar power (CSP) system technologies. The investment will fund research and development projects to improve the performance and increase the efficiency of all components of CSP plants, ultimately lowering the cost of solar electricity and producing affordable, clean and renewable energy, even at night, by storing the heat generated by the sun.

CSP generates electric power by using mirrors to focus and concentrate the sun’s rays on a receiver from which a heat transfer fluid carries the intense thermal energy to a power block to generate electricity. CSP technology with thermal energy storage can store the sun’s heat for use when the sun isn’t shining.

This funding opportunity targets R&D in technologies with the potential for much lower cost, higher efficiency and more reliable performance than existing commercial and near-commercial CSP systems.

The funding builds on SunShot’s work to advance solar energy technologies and make solar energy more affordable and accessible. The SunShot Initiative partners with industry, national laboratories and universities to drive innovations in CSP technologies to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade.

This is the second DOE funding announcement this year benefitting CSP technologies. In February, DOE announced $25 million in new funding to boost domestic solar manufacturing and speed up the commercialization of affordable PV and CSP technologies.

Photo via Shutterstock.

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