US DOE to fund hybrid solar-fossil fuel power plant projects
Washington (Platts)--17Dec2012/509 pm EST/2209 GMT
With the aim of making it cheaper and easier to expand the use of solar
power, the US Department of Energy said Monday it would provide $20 million
to several projects that seek to create a hybrid concentrating-solar and
fossil-fuel power plant.
"These hybrid systems leverage the infrastructure of fossil fuel plants
such as turbine and transmission systems, helping to reduce the cost of
solar-generated electricity and bring CSP plants online quicker," DOE said in
announcing the funding. "Today, between 11 GW and 21 GW of CSP could be built
and integrated into existing fossil fuel plants in the United States."
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The funding will go to two to four projects, and the partners must
provide 75% of the project cost, DOE said.
Concentrating solar power works in at least two ways: by concentrating
sunlight through lenses onto photovoltaic cells, which converts light
directly into electricity, or by using reflective troughs to heat tubes
containing liquid salts, which in turn heats water to create steam to drive a
turbine to produce electricity.
--Derek Sands, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Lisa Miller, email@example.com