As part of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above energy strategy, officials for the Energy Department announce $20 million in new funding that will help integrate concentrating solar power (CSP) systems with fossil fuel power plants. These hybrid systems leverage the infrastructure of fossil fuel plants such as turbine and transmission systems, helping to reduce the cost of solar-generated electricity and bring CSP plants online quicker. Today, between 11GW and 21GW of CSP could be built and integrated into existing fossil fuel plants in the United States, enough to power to between 3 million and 6 million homes.
The new funding strives to overcome near-term market and technological barriers for cost-effective CSP hybrid system implementation. Additionally, CSP hybrid technology may help enable further cost reductions in stand-alone CSP projects and spur innovations across the broader concentrating solar power supply chain. The projects selected for funding under this program will work to design, build, and test cost-competitive integrated CSP-fossil fuel power generating systems.
The Energy Department seeks applications from industry, universities, and national laboratories. A total of up to $20 million is available for two to four projects under this solicitation. During the two- to four-year performance period, selected projects must pass reviews to continue advancing from the design phase through the construction and evaluation phases. Awardees are also required to provide 75% of the total project cost. For more information, see the CSP Heat Integration for Baseload Renewable Energy Development Funding Opportunity Announcement (CSP HIBRED FOA).