Funding for renewable energy projects continues with the latest Department of Energy announcement centering on $62 million in funding for Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) research projects. CSP systems can provide low-cost electrical power even when the sun isn’t shining.

The $62 million in funding was awarded to 13 projects in two main categories: CSP studies and CSP component feasibility studies. Three CSP studies projects will receive up to $31.6 million of funding: Abengoa Solar Inc in Lakewood, Colorado, eSolar Inc in Pasadena, California, and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in Canoga Park, California.

Abengoa Solar is working on a new solar power tower project. “The system will focus the sun’s rays to the tower using a 360-degree, surround reflector field on the ground and collect the heat in a salt fluid, which is used to make steam and drive a turbine.  The system will also incorporate a thermal storage system to allow it to operate for a period when the sun isn’t shining.  The ability to operate at higher temperatures will translate into more energy produced with the same size power plant.” Source: DOE

The other ten projects fall under the CSP component feasibility studies category and focus on the research and development of CSP concepts and components. Awards were made to companies in Alabama, California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Washington.