U.S. Department of Energy

CSP Systems Analysis

The SunShot Initiative funds concentrating solar power (CSP) systems research and development (R&D) within industry and national laboratories to develop and demonstrate integrated CSP systems as well as to evaluate and validate the cost, performance, and durability of concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies. DOE's research program is guided toward the areas of greatest impact based on estimates of current and future CSP plant, subsystems, and components costs. DOE also supports the estimation of CSP deployment for different policy and future scenarios and helps disseminate resource and financial data to industry stakeholders. DOE further funds studies on the valuation of CSP with thermal energy storage to better enable the utilities and industry quantify the benefit of incorporating thermal energy storage in CSP plants.

Systems analysis examines the cost and efficiency of existing and innovative CSP systems as well as possible CSP hybrids to promote early deployment of CSP systems in low-cost configurations that are easy to integrate into the electric grid. Such deployment will help drive down the cost of all CSP systems. Innovative, long-term concepts are evaluated to provide guidance to the research and development (R&D) effort within the program with the goal of achieving the aggressive SunShot cost targets for the technology. CSP Systems R&D further supports development and integration of advanced utility-scale solar financial models into the System Advisor Model (SAM).

Many of the competitive awards through the funding opportunity announcements are focused on demonstrating CSP systems with innovations in subcomponent technologies. Learn more on the concentrating solar power Systems R&D activities for trough, towerlinear Fresnel or dish systems in the competitive awards section.