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Funding & Incentives

D.O.E. awarding $56 million for improvements to CSP systems

A total of 21 projects for advancements in technology for concentrating solar power technologies are being awarded funding by the United States Department of Energy under its SunShot Initiative.

The awards span 13 states for a total of $56 million over three years subject to congressional appropriations.

"These SunShot investments will help American companies and technologies advance cutting-edge solar technologies that will help U.S. companies to compete internationally, while diversifying our energy portfolio, protecting our air and water and creating jobs for American workers," said energy secretary Stephen Chu.

The projects will be conducted in partnership with private industry, national laboratories and universities. They will focus on achieving improvements in CSP to lower costs and allow for its widespread use.

CSP technologies use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight to produce heat and electricity. An advantage that a CSP system has over other solar power energy systems is that it can store this heat to produce power even if the sun is not shining.

A CSP system has three major parts: a collector, which collects and concentrates the sun's energy on to a receiver, which accepts and transfers the heat energy to the power cycle which converts the heat energy into electricity.

The awardees will work on improving the performance and design of the collectors, receivers and power cycle equipment that a CSP system needs.

The SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national initiative to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade. The program supports research and development into improving the performance of solar energy technologies and reducing the installation costs of solar energy systems by about 75 percent. – EcoSeed Staff

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