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DoE invests in community renewables, CSP and wind

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced several funding opportunities over the last week including up to US$22 million for community renewable energy deployment, up to US$52.2m for concentrating solar power (CSP) and almost US$14m for wind energy projects.

The US$22m for utility scale community renewable energy projects is expected to be spent on up to four communities across the USA.

“The DoE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will provide technical assistance to selected recipients, including concepts, best practices, planning, financial approaches, policy guidance, and recognition to help communities rapidly plan and deploy utility-scale renewable energy systems…,” DoE said.

Part of the aim is to use multiple renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, biomass and geothermal in each project.

DoE said it expects matching funds from public and private investment of US$22m or more for the community renewable energy projects.

US$52.5m for CSP

According to DoE, the projects receiving the US$52.5m of CPS funding “seek to improve technology and novel system designs to extend operation to an average of about 18 hours per day, a level of production that would make it possible for a CSP plant to displace a traditional coal power plant.”

CSP funding will be allocated to up to 13 projects in two areas:

  • R&D of concepts and components for a CSP system that enables a plant to produce low-cost electricity at least 18 hours of the day;
  • Evaluation of the feasibility and development of a prototype complete CSP system capable of operating at least 18 hours per day while generating low-cost power.

US$14m for 28 new wind energy projects

DoE has also announced almost US$14m in funding for 28 new wind energy projects that “will help address market and deployment challenges including wind turbine research and transmission analysis, planning, assessment.”

At the same time, DoE published its 2008 Wind Technologies Market Report which details the US$16bn of investment in wind projects in 2008.

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