Solar Demonstration Zone Project Seeks Technical Innovations in Two-Phase Approach

The purpose of the project is to facilitate the development of a cluster of projects in the Southwest United States that "showcase" new advanced solar technologies.

The "Solar Demonstration Zone Project" is a new Request for Information (RFI) issued by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Program. Check out how to apply and review more information on the RFI (in the Search Criteria dropdown, select "Reference Number," and in the Search box, type "DE-FOA-0000303"). Responses to this RFI must be submitted by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on April 2, 2010.

The purpose of the project is to facilitate the development of a cluster of projects in the Southwest United States that "showcase" new advanced solar technologies. The technologies should exceed an innovation threshold of what has already been deployed at a commercial scale in the United States. Some of the anticipated technologies may include the following:

High-temperature troughs
Low-cost thermal storage
Low water-consuming operations
Innovative power conversion cycles
Low-cost reflectors, concentrators, or heliostats
Concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) systems.
The Solar Demonstration Zone Project will consist of two phases:

Phase I will focus on sub-commercial-scale demonstrations of systems using new concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies that will provide technical and financial validation sufficient for these technologies to attract conventional financing. DOE will provide funding with a 50% cost-share requirement for these projects.

Phase II will consist of commercial-scale projects, which will build off of the Phase I sub-commercial-scale demonstrations. In addition to conventional financing, these projects may also be eligible for DOE Loan Guarantees and other federal incentives.

For both phases, DOE will provide specific site development resources (e.g., roads, transmission, security, water), as well as technical assistance and access to high solar resource land. In addition to CSP technologies, other large-scale technologies—such as CPV systems—would be eligible for project development through the Solar Demonstration Zone Project.

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