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US DOE awards USD 72m for CSP R&D programme

CSP plant in the US. Featured Image: Mike Flippo/Shutterstock.com

May 16 (Renewables Now) - The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded USD 72 million (EUR 61m) in financing to support work on high-temperature components and thermal systems for concentrating solar power (CSP) installations.

Three teams have been chosen under the Generation 3 CSP (Gen3 CSP) programme to compete to build an integrated system capable of efficiently receiving solar heat and delivering it to a working fluid at a temperature of over 700 degrees Celsius. For comparison, the current best commercially available technologies can only reach 565 degrees Celsius.

The teams will have to prepare a detailed design for a test facility over a two-year period before a single awardee is selected to realise its project. The winner will get an additional USD 25 million over the subsequent three years to build the test facility.

Phase One funding has been awarded to New Hampshire-based Brayton Energy, which got USD 7.6 million; the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which received USD 7 million; and Sandia National Laboratories of New Mexico, which won UD 9.5 million.

At the same time, DOE has picked eight awardees to develop either component-level technology or utilise cross-cutting research capabilities to back a successful integrated testing site. It also selected several national labs to support this work. Details are available in the table below.

Name Location Funding
Electric Power Research Institute Palo Alto, California USD 1.5m
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, Georgia USD 2m
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, Georgia USD 1.4m
University of Tulsa Tulsa, Oklahoma USD 1.5m
Hayward Tyler  Colchester, Vermont USD 2m
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts USD 1.8m
Mohawk Innovative Technology Albany, New York USD 1.3m
Purdue University West Lafayette, Indiana USD 2m
Idaho National Laboratory Idaho Falls, Idaho USD 1m
National Renewable Energy Laboratory Golden, Colorado USD 1m
Oak Ridge National Laboratory Oak Ridge, Tennessee USD 4.3m
Oak Ridge National Laboratory Oak Ridge, Tennessee USD 1m
Oak Ridge National Laboratory Oak Ridge, Tennessee USD 1m
Sandia National Laboratories Albuquerque, New Mexico USD 1m
Savannah River National Laboratory Jackson, North Carolina USD 700,000

The ultimate goal of the initiative is to lower the cost of a CSP system by about USD 0.02 per kWh, which is 40% of the way to the targeted USD 0.05/kWh for baseload CSP plants.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.850)

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