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DOE to award up to $20M for projects integrating concentrating solar power systems with fossil fuel plants

19 December 2012

The US Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000772) for up to $20 million for the CSP [concentrating solar power] Heat Integration for Baseload Renewable Energy Development (CSP HIBRED) program to support advancement of the hybridization of CSP technologies with existing fossil fuel plants. DOE defines CSP hybridization as thermal and or chemical energy from a CSP system being combined with the thermal and or chemical energy in a fossil fueled power generation system for the production of electricity. A goal of the CSP HIBRED FOA is to catalyze wider CSP hybrid deployment in the power industry.

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 11–21 GW of CSP could be built and integrated into existing fossil fuel plants in the United States, according to the DOE—enough to power to between 3 million and 6 million homes.

DOE anticipates awards to 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.

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 is seeking applications from industry, universities, and national laboratories.

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