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News Archives - 2011

December 20, 2011

Thermal Energy Storage Included in California Power Purchase Agreements

The value of thermal energy storage in concentrating solar power plants has become obvious?so much so that BrightSource Energy, Inc. and Southern California Edison have rewritten some power purchase agreements to include thermal energy storage in plans for three solar power tower plants.

December 6, 2011

Thermal Energy Storage in CSP Plants Could Boost Penetration of Solar, Wind Power

The ability of concentrating solar power plants with thermal energy storage to provide power on a continual and flexible basis may be key to helping all types of solar and wind power to penetrate the grid. That's one conclusion of a new report published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

October 31, 2011

Sun Trackers Gather to Calibrate Instruments

Annual pyrheliometer comparisons ensure that measurements of solar "fuel" are the same all over the globe.

October 31, 2011

Department of Energy To Invest $60 Million To Develop Innovative CSP Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy, through its SunShot initiative, will be investing $6 million in research to enable performance breakthroughs in concentrating solar power. Industry, universities, and national laboratories are encouraged to apply for the funding, and must submit a pre-application by November 22, 2011. The effort aims to encourage rapid, widespread adoption of solar energy systems across the country, help the solar power industry overcome technical barriers, reduce costs, boost U.S. competitiveness in the worldwide market for solar technologies, and provide support for clean energy jobs for years to come.

October 11, 2011

DOE Finalizes $737 Million Loan Guarantee to Tonopah Solar Energy For Nevada Project

The U.S. Department of Energy has finalized a $737 million loan guarantee for an innovative concentrating solar power project that will feature the tallest molten salt tower in the world. Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC, is developing the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, a 110-megawatt facility that will use molten salt as the primary heat transfer and storage medium. Located in Nevada on land leased from the Bureau of Land Management, the company anticipates the facility will fund 600 construction jobs and 45 permanent jobs.

September 16, 2011

DOE Finalizes $1.2 Billion Loan Guarantee for Mojave Solar Project

The U.S. Department of Energy has finalized terms of a loan guarantee with Mojave Solar, LLC, an affiliate of Abengoa Solar, Inc., for the Mojave Solar Project -- a 250-megawatt concentrating solar plant in southern California. The construction and operation of the Mojave Solar Plant is expected to create about 1,000 jobs.

September 1, 2011

NREL to Help Four Start-ups Ramp up Solar Energy Innovations

Companies with innovative, game-changing ways to lower the cost of solar energy have been awarded $5.8 million to work with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

July 19, 2011

New Release of SolTrace Software a Powerful Optical Modeling Tool

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released a new and improved version of SolTrace, a software tool that models concentrating solar power systems and analyzes their optical performance.

June 6, 2011

NREL CSP Group Seeks Postdoctoral Fellowship Participants

The Concentrating Solar Power group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is looking for participants in an upcoming postdoctoral fellowship opportunity to support concentrating solar power research at the lab. The fellowship is being offered by the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program within the U.S. Department of Energy. Applications are due June 30, 2011.

June 3, 2011

Fourth CSP Plant Receives DOE Loan Support

In an ongoing push to support innovative renewable energy, the U.S. Department of Energy has offered a conditional loan guarantee to the development of a fourth concentrating solar plant. The 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project received an offer for the $737 million loan guarantee on May 19. In the past 12 months, three other concentrating solar power plants with a combined generating capacity of 1,471 megawatts have received similar guarantees totaling more than $5.8 billion.

April 4, 2011

NREL and Contractor Aim to Reduce Water Use in CSP Plants

The ideal site for a concentrating solar power plant has plenty of sunshine. Trouble is, these sites often have limited water resources, and such power plants require some type of coolant, with water being the traditional coolant of choice. NREL and WorleyParsons Group, Inc. have been studying various methods for reducing water use in concentrating solar power plants, and have published a report summarizing results—which point to "dry" or waterless cooling as a solution.

February 4, 2011

DOI Approves Ninth Commercial-Scale Solar Project on Public Lands

The U.S. Department of Interior, in an ongoing effort to help develop renewable energy on U.S. public lands, approved the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project last month. The concentrated solar power plant is the ninth large-scale solar facility to be approved for development on public lands since last October. The 110-megawatt plant will be sited on 2,250 acres in Nevada, which are owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The project is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs and help meet requirements of Nevada's Renewable Portfolio Standard.

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