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2010 News

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December 21, 2010

DOE Finalizes $1.45 Billion Loan Guarantee for One of the World's Largest Solar Generation Plants

A $1.45 billion loan guarantee has been finalized for Abengoa Solar Inc.'s Solana project, the world's largest parabolic trough concentrating solar plant.

October 26, 2010

NREL Scientists Lauded as Industry Pioneers

At the recent World Renewable Energy Congress/Network (WREN) in Abu Dhabi, three researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) were named WREN Pioneers. Dr. Falah Hasoon, Dr. Chuck Kutscher and Dr. David Renné were recognized for the impact their discoveries and innovations have made to the progress and acceptance of renewable energy technologies.

October 21, 2010

NREL Completes Testing of SkyTrough Collector

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has completed testing of the new SkyTrough parabolic trough collector, developed by SkyFuel. The collector uses a special mirror film that was jointly developed by SkyFuel and the laboratory. NREL worked with SkyFuel over a period of many months to help them improve the optical design. The final test results indicate that this new, lightweight design has a performance comparable to that of collectors using heavier glass mirrors.

October 19, 2010

President Obama: Ivanpah CSP Plant to Create Clean Energy and Jobs

A concentrating solar power plant planned for southeast California has been praised by President Obama as an illustration of how clean, home-grown energy can boost employment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Once constructed, the 370-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station would nearly double the amount of solar thermal electricity produced in the United States today.

September 27, 2010

NREL Handbook Enables CSP Development

Today's concentrating solar power (CSP) systems can require substantial upfront investment for project development and construction. Projected cash flow analysis requires accurate knowledge of current and projected solar radiation at individual project sites. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has just made the task easier by publishing a handbook that tells how to collect, interpret, and use solar resource data during all stages of development. Project developers, engineering procurement construction firms, utility companies, energy suppliers, financial investors, and other participants in CSP plant development should find this new handbook a valuable resource.

September 20, 2010

California Approves 1,000-Megawatt CSP Plant

The California Energy Commission has approved the world's largest commercial-scale, concentrated solar thermal electric generating facility. Composed of four 242-megawatt solar plants that are sited near the Arizona border on land owned by the Bureau of Land Management, the facility is expected to provide jobs and advance California's energy and climate goals.

July 30, 2010

Molten Salt Transfers, Stores Heat in Italian CSP Plant

The first parabolic trough concentrating solar power plant in the world to use molten-salt as a heat transfer fluid and to store heat began operating in Italy in mid-July. The 5-megawatt plant in Sicily is also the first to integrate a combined-cycle gas facility and a solar thermal power plant for electricity generation.

July 23, 2010

First Hybrid CSP-Coal Power Plant is Fired Up in Colorado

Concentrating solar power (CSP) is boosting the energy produced by a coal-fired power plant east of Grand Junction, Colorado. The first of its kind in the United States, the hybrid demonstration plant is expected to increase energy production 5% above what the coal plant previously produced, plus reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2,000 tons per year. The project is considered an important test in proving the commercial viability of integrating coal plants with CSP.

July 23, 2010

Nevada Desert Site Chosen to Demonstrate CSP Technology

A new Solar Demonstration Zone has been established in the Nevada desert by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Interior. The departments will collaborate in the effort to demonstrate advanced concentrating solar power technologies and thus help push them to full-scale commercialization.

July 16, 2010

Report Explores Acceptance of Concentrating Solar Power in San Luis Valley

A new report published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in a joint effort with the University of Colorado, provides important insight into the social acceptance of utility-scale concentrating solar power plants in the San Luis Valley. The valley, approximately 200 miles southwest of Denver, is an ideal source of solar energy for Colorado because of its abundant solar resource.

July 8, 2010

DOE Offers $1.45 Billion Loan Guarantee to Abengoa Solar

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced a $1.45 billion conditional loan guarantee to Abengoa Solar to build a concentrating solar power generating facility in Arizona. The project will create 1,600 jobs during construction and will deliver electricity to 70,000 Arizona homes.

June 22, 2010

BLM Announces Solar Energy Rental Rates for Public Lands

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its rental schedule for solar energy right-of-way authorizations on public lands. The schedule will provide some additional cost certainty for the solar energy industry.

June 10, 2010

EPRI Joins SolarTAC

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has become a sponsoring member of the Solar Technology Acceleration Center or SolarTAC—one of the world's largest solar test and demonstration centers. The center is a private, member-based, outdoor facility in Aurora, Colorado, where the solar industry tests, validates, and demonstrates advanced solar technologies. EPRI's involvement will allow its members to conduct research at the facility and is expected to help hasten utility-scale solar technologies to the marketplace.

May 21, 2010

Journal Article: How to Phase out CO2 Emissions from Coal by 2030

A journal article entitled, "Options for Near-Term Phaseout of CO2 Emissions from Coal Use in the United States" and an accompanying environmental news story will appear in the June 1 issue of Environmental Science & Technology. The peer-reviewed article describes how greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. coal burning power plants can be eliminated in the next two decades. Written by a group of scientists, engineers, and architects from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies & Columbia University Earth Institute, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and 2030 Inc./Architecture 2030, the article advocates immediate and aggressive action. Both the journal article and a related news story are currently available online.

May 11, 2010

Secretary Chu Announces up to $62 Million for CSP R&D

The U.S. Department of Energy is making up to $62 million available to 13 projects over five years to research, develop, and demonstrate concentrating solar power systems. Energy Secretary Steven Chu made the announcement May 7, stating that the investment would generate new jobs and "pave the way towards a clean-energy future.”

April 27, 2010

Alcoa and NREL Testing New Concentrating Solar Power System

Alcoa has teamed with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to test an advanced concentrating solar power technology that uses highly reflective, durable aluminum mirrors instead of traditional glass mirrors that are heavier and more prone to break. The research is aimed at lowering the cost of producing the technology so as to make it competitive in the United States.

April 13, 2010

New Fact Sheet Explains Solar Power's Role in Grid of the Future

How will distributed and centralized renewable energy technologies, particularly solar power, contribute to the electricity system of the future? The Energy Analysis Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has published a fact sheet that answers this question and also explains the how the electric grid works, and why a mix of renewable energy technologies will be necessary to keep up with the constantly changing demand for electricity.

April 6, 2010

NREL's Kutscher and Jorgensen Honored for Outstanding Performance

Chuck Kutscher and Gary Jorgensen, who work in the Concentrating Solar Power program at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, received outstanding performance awards from the laboratory on March 16. Kutscher was honored for his far-reaching and influential volunteer work in the solar field. Jorgensen was recognized, in part, for co-inventing two technologies that helped the laboratory win two R&D 100 awards.

March 17, 2010

Solar Demonstration Zone Project Seeks Technical Innovations; RFI Submittals Due April 2

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Program has issued a new Request for Information (RFI) for The Solar Demonstration Zone Project. The project aims to facilitate the development of a group of projects in the Southwest United States that showcase new advanced solar technologies. All RFI responses must be submitted by April 2.

March 2, 2010

Environmental Assessment Issued for 750-Megawatt Solar Two Project

A project to deploy 42,000 solar dishes in the Southern California desert has passed a key hurdle with the issuance of a draft environmental impact statement. Stirling Energy Systems and Tessera Solar recently deployed a much smaller system, featuring 60 solar dishes, in Arizona.

February 25, 2010

DOE Awards Nearly $1.4 Billion in Loan Guarantees to BrightSource Energy

DOE has awarded a conditional loan guarantee for nearly $1.4 billion to BrightSource Energy for three utility-scale concentrated solar power plants in southeastern California. Pending regulatory approval, the Ivanpah Solar Complex will generate about 400 megawatts of energy.

January 20, 2010

DOE to Provide Up to $12 Million to Support Early Stage Solar Technologies

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., will invest $12 million in total funding ($10 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) to support the development of early stage solar energy technologies.

January 18, 2010

SolarReserve Signs PPA for 100-Megawatt CSP Project

A California-based energy developer has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to sell electricity generated by a 100-megawatt concentrating solar power project. The project, to be located in Nevada, will use a molten-salt storage system and provide jobs and tax revenue for the south-central region of the state.


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