New DOE Funding for CSP: Webinar April 12th – SolarPACES

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On March 25, 2021, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the funding program for photovoltaics and concentrated solar thermal (FY 21 PV and CSP) for fiscal year 2021, which will provide USD 39.5 million for projects promote research and development in solar PV and CSP (R&D) and contribute to the elimination of carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector.

These projects will help achieve the solar bureau's goal of reducing costs and expanding solar to new markets. Find out more about SETO's goals and how you can apply for funding.

SETO expects 31 to 54 awards for the SETO FY21 PV and CSP Funding Opportunity (FOA) announcement, ranging from $ 300,000 to $ 5 million, respectively.

The SETO PV and CSP funding program for fiscal year 21 provides for R&D projects that enable a decarbonised electricity system by 2035 and a 100% clean energy industry with net zero emissions by 2050. These projects will help reduce the cost of solar technologies and enable long-term solar energy storage and development of technologies for carbon-free industrial processes in the US.

office: Office for Solar Energy Technologies
Financing number: DE-FOA-0002378 and DE-TA5-0002378 (topic 5)
Funding amount: $ 39.5 million

Today's announcement supports several solar thermal concentration (CSP) projects. Unlike PV technologies, which convert sunlight directly into electricity, CSP captures heat from sunlight and uses that thermal energy to turn a turbine or drive a motor, which then generates electricity.

  • $ 33 million in CSP advances: The new funding option includes funding improvements to the reliability and performance of CSP systems that can send solar energy when needed. Identifies New Solar Applications for Industrial Processes, Contributing 20% โ€‹โ€‹of US Carbon Emissions; and develops long-lasting thermal energy storage. Long-term energy storage is crucial for the decarbonization of the electricity sector and can be coupled well with CSP systems. However, the cost must be reduced by a factor of two to unlock the deployment.
  • $ 25 million to demonstrate a Next generation CSP power plant: Sandia National Laboratories will receive funding to build a facility where researchers, developers and manufacturers can test next-generation CSP components and systems and meet DOE's 2030 cost target of 5 cents / kWh for CSP systems.

Consistent with the DOE's commitment to ensure the benefits of federal funding reach different communities, applicants for the Perovskite Startup Award and the PV / CSP funding opportunity must submit a diversity and inclusion plan and propose measurable actions to encourage participation underrepresented groups to increase their teams. in their research and in the wider community.

The CSP awards include:

Scalable results for the use of advanced research results on receivers and reactors (SOLAR R & R)
$ 11 million, 3-7 projects
This subject area is looking for projects that further develop novel solar receivers and reactors that enable new CSP applications, including high-temperature power towers for highly efficient electrical circuits, solar reactors for the thermochemical production of fuels and chemicals, or other solar process heat applications. This topic has a tiered application structure and uses risk retirement goals to expand novel concepts and develop supportive information to enable commercial partnerships.

Pump storage for thermal energy (PTES)
$ 11 million, 4-9 projects

Projects in this thematic area will advance PTES technologies that can use electricity to charge thermal energy storage, either as stand-alone systems or integrated into CSP systems. In this subject area, important PTES components such as compressors and heat exchangers are to be further developed. meet techno-economic requirements for the storage of thermal energy; and prepare the innovations for manufacturing and marketing.


This topic deals with projects for the further development of technologies, training courses and standards in order to reduce the costs of CSP systems for parabolic troughs and power towers. This topic is divided into two sections.

1. Process improvement and refinement for operation, reliability and maintenance (CSP PERFORM)
$ 4 million, 3-6 projects

The projects in this subject area focus on improving the reliability, usability and productivity of systems, processes and designs of existing CSP technologies. In this subject area, solutions for reliability and performance problems that have been identified in existing CSP systems are to be further developed and evaluated.

2. Research into devices for optimized and reliable machines (CSP REFORM)
$ 4 million, 3-6 projects

The projects in this subject area focus on improving the design and operation of CSP systems by developing components and equipment for commercially relevant CSP systems that use conventional steam Rankine power cycles.

Small innovative projects in Solar (SIPS) CSP

The projects in this thematic area focus on innovative and novel ideas that are riskier than those based on established technologies. SIPS has a simplified application process with which applications from engineers and scientists in traditionally underrepresented groups as well as from young researchers who have never applied or who have been selected for a SETO prize are to be funded.

$ 3 million, 10-13 projects

The projects in this thematic area focus on innovative and novel ideas with which the costs of CSP technologies for generating electricity or industrial heat can be drastically reduced. If successful, the technology should be well positioned to move on to the next phase of research and development after a year.

Further information is available from the SETO FY21 PV and CSP financing option Webinar on April 12th.


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