U.S. to support some solar power research

May 1, 2008

The U.S. Department of Energy says it will fund up to $60 million to support development of low-cost concentrating solar power, or CSP, technology.

Under Secretary of Energy Clarence Albright said the five-year funding project includes $10 million in fiscal 2008 appropriations and $10 million in the agency's fiscal 2009 budget request.

Albright announced the funding in remarks to the Energy Marketer's Association Convention this week in Washington.

"Harnessing the natural and abundant power of the sun and more cost-effectively converting it into energy is an important component of our comprehensive strategy to … become less reliant on foreign oil," Albright said.

The funding is available for projects from industry and academia that develop advanced thermal storage concepts and heat transfer fluids to increase the efficiency of concentrating solar power plants. CSP systems use heat generated by concentrating and absorbing solar energy to produce thermal energy.

The funding includes 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.

Applications are due on or before July 10. Additional information is available at grants.gov.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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