Department of Energy Awards $72 Million for Projects to Advance Concentrated Solar Power Technologies

May 25, 2018

Following the tariffs President Trump enacted on imported solar materials earlier this year, the Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced it has awarded $72 million to selected projects that advance high-temperature concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies. CSP technology generates energy by using large mirrors or lenses to reflect and concentrate a large area of sunlight or solar thermal energy to a small, specific area.

The current commercially available CSP technologies can receive solar heat and deliver it to a working fluid at a temperature of 565°C. The new DOE Generation 3 CSP (Gen 3 CSP), is hoping to reach working fluid temperatures of up to 700°C. If these new projects achieve this goal, it could lower CSP-generated electricity by $0.02 per kilo-watt hour. The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has a goal of reducing costs by $0.05 per kilowatt hour by 2030. 

Three teams have been selected to build a CSP system in accordance with DOE’s goals. After a two year period, one team will be awarded an additional $25 million to develop their proposed test facility. In addition to these three teams, eight additional awardees have been selected to develop either component-level technology, or utilize unique cross-cutting research capabilities to support the goal of a successfully integrated testing site. National labs were provided $10 million to support this work.

In discussing the projects, Daniel Simmons, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy said, “DOE has led the world in CSP research. These projects will help facilitate the next wave of new technologies and continue the effort to maintain American leadership in this space.”

For more information about the CSP Projects, click here: https://www.energy.gov/articles/department-energy-announces-72-million-advance-high-temperature-concentrating-solar-power

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