Chu announced a $60 million investment over 3 years for applied scientific research to advance cutting-edge Concentrated Solar Thermal Power (CSP) technologies.
As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced a $60 million investment over 3 years for applied scientific research to advance cutting-edge Concentrated Solar Thermal Power (CSP) technologies. CSP technologies use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight to produce heat, which can then be used to produce electricity.
“Our nation is in a global race to produce cost-competitive renewable energy that can create manufacturing jobs, cut our reliance on fossil fuels, and reduce carbon emissions,” said Secretary Chu. “The funding announced today through the SunShot Initiative will help unleash the vast potential of solar energy to diversify our energy portfolio, create clean energy jobs, and re-establish U.S. global leadership in this fast growing industry.”
Through this solicitation, the Department seeks to support research into technologies that have the potential to dramatically increase efficiency, lower costs, and deliver more reliable performance than existing commercial and near-commercial Concentrated Solar Energy systems. DOE expects to fund between approximately 20 and 22 projects, and encourages industry, universities, and National Laboratories to apply.
This SunShot Concentrated Solar Thermal Power opportunity seeks to develop innovative concepts that could lead to performance breakthroughs like improving efficiency and temperature ranges, and demonstrate new approaches in the design of collectors, receivers, and power cycle equipment used in Concentrating Solar Power systems.
Each of these subsystems is critical to CSP operation: the collectors collect and concentrate the Sun’s energy onto the receiver; the receiver accepts and transfers the heat energy to the power cycle; and the power cycle converts the heat energy into electricity. Developing low-cost collectors, high-temperature receivers, and high-efficiency power cycles should lead to subsequent system integration, engineering scale-up, and eventual commercial production for clean electricity generation applications.