DOE to develop solar power storage and heat transfer projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced 15 new projects, for up to approximately $67.6 million, to facilitate the development of lower-cost energy storage for concentrating solar power technology. 


These projects support President Bush's Solar America Initiative, which aims to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity by 2015. Selected projects are expected to promote DOE's goal of reducing the cost of CSP electricity from 13-16 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) today with no storage to 8-11 cents/kWh with six hours of storage by 2015, and to less than seven cents/kWh with 12-17 hours of storage by 2020.


The department shared selections for negotiations of award under the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), Advanced Heat Transfer Fluids and Novel Thermal Storage Concepts for Concentrating Solar Power Generation.


DOE Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy John Mizroch said, "These projects will not only spur innovation in concentrating solar power technology, but they will help meet the President's goal of making clean and renewable solar power commercially viable by 2015."


Proposals were selected from the following categories: Advanced heat transfer fluids research and development (R&D); Thermal energy storage R&D; and, Thermal energy storage near-term demonstration.


On the occasion, DOE stated that as the lead agency for President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, it is committed to the diversification of energy resources by spurring widespread commercialisation and deployment of clean solar energy technologies.


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