U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has announced $30 million in funding to 12 projects to develop solar technologies which can produce electricity when the sun is not shining.
The 12 award recipients will develop technologies that span solar photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP) and concentrating photovoltaics (CPV).
"The Energy Department is working across the industry to help our country's top engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs bring new solar innovations to market faster," stated Secretary Moniz.
The award is part of a recent drive to incorporate solar technologies in advanced fossil fuel and hybrid technology development. The trend was started by the DOE's $10 million investment in the SMUD natural gas CSP hybrid facility in late 2013; this was followed by a new $8 billion solicitation from the Loans Program Office for advanced fossil fuel and hybrid projects.
Some of the research will have potential applications for either PV or CSP technology. General Electric Global Research will receive $2.3 million to design and test components of a gas turbine driven by high-temperature, high-pressure carbon dioxide, which expands to low pressure and cold temperatures to generate electricity from stored electrical and heat energy.
The DOE is keen to capitalize on the versatility which CSP technologies offer and the recent commissioning of Abengoa's Solana plant with 6 hours of thermal energy storage has been seen as a beacon which future base load options can be modelled on. On February 13th Secretary Moniz is due to give the keynote address at the inaugural opening of Brightsources 392MW Ivanpah Plant in the California Mojave desert.
At CSP Today USA 2014 (5-6, June Las Vegas) the DOE Loans Programs Office will be presenting on their latest initiative as well as Abengoa, Brightsource and SolarReserve on their utility scale projects. There will also be a site visit opportunity of the Ivanpah plant for delegates by the operators NRG Energy. If you want to learn more about CSP Today USA 2014 then please visit http://goo.gl/61OJz7
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