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Learn the basics about concentrating solar power and how this technology generates energy.
Department of Energy

Whether capturing the sun’s heat from towers, dishes, or troughs, concentrating solar power (CSP) technology is making exciting advances. So exciting, in fact, that the federal government is looking at more than 25 square miles in Nevada to demonstrate new CSP technology research.

A single CSP plant can generate enough power for about 90,000 homes. CSP technologies use mirrors to reflect sunshine, turning it into an intense beam that’s collected as heat. Some of the heat is used to produce electricity immediately. The rest is stored so that the generators can provide power for homes and businesses long after the sun has set. Check out the above video on CSP technologies.

With exciting solar energy advances on the horizon, the Department of Energy is ramping up its CSP research, development, and deployment efforts, utilizing both industry partners and the national laboratories. DOE research could help make CSP cost-competitive with natural gas by 2017, and enable CSP to be competitive with coal by 2022. These aggressive goals will help the United States realize a clean energy economy faster, while creating new, high value jobs in the process. These are exciting times for CSP and solar energy. Stay tuned for new developments in coming months on the Solar Program’s website.