Office: Solar Energy Technologies Office 
FOA number: DE-FOA-0002630
Link to apply: Apply on EERE Exchange 
FOA Amount: $25 Million

SETO Fiscal Year 2022 CSP Funding Opportunity

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced the Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power (CSP) Fiscal Year 2022 Research, Development, and Demonstration funding program, which will award up to $25 million for innovative projects in CSP technologies. These projects will accelerate the large-scale development and deployment of solar technology. CSP technologies offer a unique value as renewable energy resources that can readily deliver high-temperature heat and incorporate storage for on-demand solar energy.  

This funding opportunity is designed to help decarbonize the energy sector by developing CSP technologies for carbon-free industrial processes in the United States, and next-generation plant designs that will operate at high efficiency with low-cost thermal storage. Projects supported by this opportunity will focus on lowering the cost of CSP technologies and creating new market opportunities for the industry, with the goal of enabling substantial deployment of CSP to decarbonize the electricity grid and energy system. These projects will work to apply CSP to new industries and advance the development of components for next-generation CSP systems based on solid particle heat transfer media.

SETO expects to make about 8 to 15 awards, each ranging between $750,000 and $6 million. Diverse teams from universities, federally-funded research and development centers, nonprofit and for-profit companies, community-based organizations, state agencies, and local governments are encouraged to apply.  

Prior to submitting a full application for this opportunity, a mandatory concept paper is due on March 16 at 5:00 p.m. ET.  

Topic Areas 

Topic Area 1:  Concentrating Solar Thermal for Industrial Decarbonization – 4-8 projects, $15 million 
To achieve a carbon-free economy, it is necessary to identify technologies that can eliminate the need to burn fossil fuels for heat-driven processes that produce essential commodities, refined products, and other goods. Projects in this topic area will enable concentrating solar-thermal technologies with thermal energy storage (TES) to be integrated with high-temperature process technologies to produce economically important products, like steel, cement, ammonia, fuels, and other chemicals and fuels. These products are responsible for approximately half of all emissions from the industrial sector. This topic seeks to develop solar-driven processes using directly heated on-sun reactors, indirectly heated TES-coupled reactors, recuperators for heating and cooling reactants and products, and the production and use of low-carbon fuels for use as a heat source or chemical reactant. 

Topic Area 2:  Concentrating Solar-thermal Particle Technologies for Generation 3 CSP and Beyond (Gen3++) – 4-7 projects, $10 million 
Particle-based systems for thermal energy storage have a number of advantages, require fewer components, and are less complex to operate than alternative pathways based on liquids, gases, or supercritical fluids. Additionally, particle-based systems need relatively few high-cost materials to collect and transport thermal energy. TES using solid particles is expected to be highly cost-effective due to stability at high service temperatures and the relatively low cost of the material. Projects in this topic area will identify opportunities to improve upon in the following technical areas of interest: Gen3 CSP component development and scaleup, receiver system (focusing on receiver and particle lifts), particle heat exchangers, particle CSP towers, solid particle media, particle-heated steam generation systems, and supercritical carbon dioxide power blocks for integration with particle based CSP

Teaming Partner List

SETO strongly encourages teaming among multiple stakeholders across academia, industry, National Laboratories, and technical disciplines. Teams that include multiple partners are preferred over applications that include a single organization. Teams that include representation from diverse entities such as, but not limited to, minority-serving institutions (MSI), including historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) and other minority institutions (OMI), minority business enterprises, minority-owned businesses, woman-owned businesses, veteran-owned businesses, or entities located in an underserved community are encouraged. To facilitate the formation of teams, SETO is providing a forum where interested parties can add themselves to the Teaming Partner List, which allows organizations that may wish to apply to the FOA, but not as the prime applicant, to express interest to potential partners.

Download the Teaming Partner List (Excel file)

Any organization that would like to be included on this list should submit the following information in Excel format to cspfoa22@ee.doe.gov with the subject line “Teaming Partner Information”: organization name, contact name, contact address, contact email, contact phone, organization type, area of technical expertise, brief description of capabilities, and topic area.

Disclaimer: By submitting a request to be included on the Teaming Partner List, the requesting organization consents to the publication of the above-referenced information. By enabling and publishing the Teaming Partner List, EERE is not endorsing, sponsoring, or otherwise evaluating the qualifications of the individuals and organizations that are self-identifying themselves for placement on this Teaming Partner List. EERE will not pay for the provision of any information, nor will it compensate any applicants or requesting organizations for the development of such information.

Webinar 

SETO will host an informational webinar on February 24 at 2:00 p.m. ET to discuss the funding program and the areas of focus. Register for the webinar.  

Key Dates 

FOA Issue Date:   02/08/2022 
Informational Webinar:    02/24/2022 Register
Submission Deadline for Concept Papers:   03/16/2022
Submission Deadline for Full Applications: 05/16/2022 at 5:00 p.m. ET 
Expected Submission Deadline for Replies to Reviewer Comments: 07/01/2022
Expected Date for EERE Selection Notifications: 09/09/2022
Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations: September 2022 – November 2022

Additional Information