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DoE ready to splash out $60m on concentrating

solar-panel.jpgTruly, the US Department of Energy must have captured a dirty great Leprechaun farm and then successfully managed to GPS its way to the end of the rainbow. How else can you explain the never-ending cash it pulls out of its back pocket to fund whatever renewable energy trend happens to flit through its collective mind at the time? Smart meters? Have $50 million. Biomass? $7 million for you! (Greenbang would like to point out to the DoE she has a perpetual motion machine that needs a bit of investment if the DoE has got any pocket change they don’t want).

But back to real life: today’s funding-magnets are concentrating solar power technologies, with up to $60 million at stake over five years.

The department reckons it will distribute the lucre to between 10 and 25 projects, all aimed at “develop advanced thermal storage concepts and heat transfer fluids to further increase the efficiency of concentrating solar power plants”.

The DoE also wants the private sector to rattle its piggyback and fund the lucky projects to the tune of 20 percent.

Here’s a little more for you:

With a minimum 20 percent cost share by the private sector for research and development phases and a minimum 50 percent private cost share for final demonstration phases, the total research investment in advanced solar technologies under this solicitation is expected to exceed $75 million.

CSP systems use heat generated by concentrating and absorbing solar energy to produce thermal energy. This type of solar energy can be used immediately for generating power through a steam turbine or heat engine, or may be saved as thermal energy for later use. Storage of solar energy in this manner removes the intermittency of sunlight, making it “dispatchable” and thus enabling CSP systems to provide electricity day or night.

If you want to apply, there’s info here.

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