[Image above] Credit: Sandia Labs, National Solar Thermal Test Facility; Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The federal government recently announced funding for two initiatives of the Department of Energy within a week of each other.
High-temperature concentrating solar power technology
The DOE is awarding $72 million for projects that focus on high-temperature concentrating solar power (CSP) systems. CSP is a technology that uses mirrors to reflect sunlight for collection and conversion into heat, according to a DOE press release. The energy is also stored and used for electricity when needed.
The DOE has already selected three organizations that will compete in its Generation 3 CSP program over a two-year period to build a thermal energy system to “efficiently receive solar heat and deliver it to a working fluid at greater than 700 °C temperature while incorporating thermal energy storage.” The finalist will get an additional $25 million over the next three years to design and build a test facility for next generation CSP technology.
Also, eight other organizations will split nearly $14 million in additional funding to develop technology that supports the DOE’s goal of an integrated testing site. In addition, the DOE is giving $10 million to seven national lab partners to support this initiative.
To learn more about the project and awardees, visit this link.
Small business research and development grants
The DOE also is awarding $34 million in grants to 183 businesses in 41 states through its Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, according to a recent news release. The 219 grants are earmarked for Phase I research and development.
Phase I grants will give small businesses the opportunity to participate and compete in research and innovation to advance the DOE’s mission. Although the grants are only for a period of 6–12 months, the median award amount is $150,000, according to the release.
If successful, Phase I grant recipients would be able to participate in Phase II in 2019, the next level in the competition. With a median award amount of $1,000,000 and up to a two-year duration, Phase II grant recipients will be able to further develop their research into actual prototypes and procedures.
To see the list of eight specific grants from the respective DOE offices, visit this link.
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