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NREL maintains partnerships to advance concentrating solar power research, development, and deployment efforts. Currently, NREL works with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, through SunLab—a partnership developed by the U.S. Department of Energy to administer its concentrating solar power R&D and analysis activities.


Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems (SolarPACES), an international program of the International Energy Agency, furthers collaborative development, testing, and marketing of CSP plants. NREL represents the U.S. activities and serves on various committees in SolarPACES, which now has 13 members: Algeria, Australia, Egypt, the European Commission, France, Germany, Israel, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.

One example of NREL's work with SolarPACES is a database it developed and maintains of CSP projects around the world with plants that are either operational, under construction, or under development. CSP technologies include parabolic trough, linear Fresnel reflector, power tower, and dish/engine systems. Each project profile includes background information, a listing of project participants, and data on the power-plant configuration.


The U.S. Department of Energy's SunLab is a virtual laboratory created through the cooperation, communication, and teamwork between NREL and Sandia National Laboratories. SunLab increases the administrative efficiency of the U.S. Department of Energy's Concentrating Solar Power Program by leveraging the respective technical expertise of each laboratory. Download Adobe Reader. A single management team consisting of managers from both labs provides day-to-day direction of program activities.