The Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) supports the development of novel concentrating solar power (CSP) research and development projects that will reduce the levelized cost of energy to $0.05 per kilowatt hour or less, for baseload systems with 12 hours or more of thermal energy storage, without subsidies by 2030. These projects aim to engineer new concepts in the collector, receiver, thermal storage, heat transfer fluids and power cycle subsystems, including technologies that will lower operations and management costs. Projects are managed and executed with the goal of being commercially relevant for electricity generation applications. The CSP subprogram is especially interested in transformative concepts with the potential to break through existing cost and performance barriers.
SETO issues competitive solicitations that fund cooperative research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects by private companies, universities, state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.03 per kilowatt-hour (not including incentives). Per Section 988 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, all of our awards have a cost share requirement that awardees must meet to receive their funding, which can be met through direct or indirect project costs. The cost sharing requirements generally require a 20 percent cost share for research and development, with an exemption for basic or fundamental research and development, and a 50 percent cost share for demonstration and commercial application activities. Learn more about the Energy Department’s Financial Assistance.