Only one CSP project awarded under the SunShot's SolarMat funding opportunity

Published on: Saturday, 14 December 2013
A CSP parabolic trough in Abengoa's CSP plant Solnova in Spain

Abengoa has received a nearly $2 million competitive award from the US Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative to improve manufacturing and assembly of their innovative large aperture parabolic trough collector over the next two years. A parabolic trough collector is the mirrored structure that is commonly used in utility-scale Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plants, such as Solana in Arizona.

The DOE has awarded a total of $13 million to five projects, four related to PV technology and one to CSP with the aim to strengthen domestic solar manufacturing and speed commercialization of efficient, affordable photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies.

These awards are expected to help lower the cost of solar electricity, support a growing U.S. solar workforce and increase U.S. competitiveness in the global clean energy market.

The goal of this DOE SunShot Initiative project is to improve the cost competitiveness of CSP and will apply precision automation technologies to the manufacturing and final assembly of Abengoa's new SpaceTube® collector, an advanced parabolic trough design of over 26 feet (8 meters) aperture width. Leveraging the improved structural efficiency and component standardization of the SpaceTube®, the objective of the new R&D project is a major reduction on the total cost versus the existing commercial trough technology. This SunShot award and Abengoa's innovative designs will help to overcome long-standing technical barriers, making solar energy more accessible for communities and businesses.

Abengoa was selected by the DOE based on the company's capacity to commercialize the results into the next generation of parabolic trough technology. The fruits of previous partnerships are, among others, two 280 MW solar plants in the U.S.: Solana, the largest parabolic trough plant in the world, located in Arizona with a storage system that can produce electricity for six hours at maximum capacity after sunset; and the Mojave Solar Project, located in California. The company leads the parabolic trough technology sector worldwide with 16 plants in operation. Abengoa has a total solar installed capacity of 1,223 MW in operation, 430 MW under construction and 210 MW in the pre-construction phase distributed in across 27 plants.

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