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Assistant Secretary Announces New Solar Initiative

November 29, 2007

The new initiative, announced by Karsner at the American Council on Renewable Energy's National Policy Conference in Washington, provides up to $5.2 million in funding to twelve projects to be implemented with nine U.S. companies.  With cost-sharing, the total public-private investment will be up to $6.6 million.

The twelve projects selected for awards are expected to reduce today's 12-14 cents/kWh cost of power to 7-10 cents/kWh by 2015 and reduce the cost to under 7 cents/kWh with 12-17 hours of storage by 2020.  Projects were selected from three categories: 1) thermal storage; 2) trough component manufacturing; and 3) advanced CSP systems and components. The nine companies selected for awards under the new initiative are 3M (MN), Alcoa (PA), Brayton Energy (NH), Hamilton Sundstrand (CA), Infinia (WA), PPG Industries (PA), SkyFuel (NY), Solar Millennium (CA), and Solucar (CO). 

Concentrating solar power is electricity generated from using mirrors to focus sunlight onto a receiver that captures the sun's energy and converts it into heat that can run a standard turbine generator or engine.  The thermal energy can be saved for later use to provide energy to homes and businesses day or night.