US Department of Energy selects recipients for CSP systems research


Secretary for the US Department of Energy, Steven Chu, announced the selection of thirteen projects, which combined will receive up to $62 million over five years for the research, development and demonstration of concentrating solar power (CSP) systems to provide low-cost electrical power. The projects will focus on improving component and design systems to extend the operation time to an average of 18 hours per day.

“Developing low-cost, renewable energy generation is crucial to meeting our nation’s increasing demands for electricity,” said Secretary Chu. “By investing in the development of low-cost solar technologies we can create new jobs and pave the way towards a clean-energy future.”

The first category of awarded to projects will evaluate the feasibility of a complete CSP baseload system and support development of prototype systems for field testing. Recipients include: Abengoa Solar ($10.6 million) for the development of a power tower technology that captures heat in a high temperature receiver at the top of an elevated tower, eSolar ($10.8 million) for the design, build and testing of a CSP power plant with new components and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne ($10.2 million) for the advancement of the current power tower plant design.

The second category of awards went to projects focused on the research and development of concepts and components that could be a part of a CSP baseload system. Recipients include: General Atomics ($2.1 million) for a feasibility and design study to validate the concept of supplying reliable, steady baseload power using a concentrating solar power plant integrated with sulphur-based energy storage, HiTek Services ($3.0 million) for the optimization of reflector arrays, or heliostat, designs for the reduction of cost for heliostats in the solar field, Infinia ($3.0 million) for the development of a large-scale thermal energy storage solution, PPG Industries ($3.0 million) for the development of low-cost reflectors with increased reflectivity, increased durability and larger dimensions, Sener Engineering Systems ($3.1 million) for the development of a high-efficiency thermal storage system, SkyFuel ($4.3 million) to develop a low-cost CSP trough system, Sun Trough Energy ($4.5 million) to develop a new class of solar concentrators and a pilot manufacturing facility, Terrafore ($1.4 million) for the development of an efficient and economic thermal storage system for baseload power generation, University of South Florida ($2.5 million) to develop and demonstrate a thermal energy storage system based on materials that absorb heat when changing from solid to liquid forms and Wilson TurboPower ($3.7 million) for a small transportable turbine power system in a modular CSP solar power tower configuration.

For more detailed information about the selected recipients please go to Solar Energy Technologies Program home page.

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