The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced the issuance of the Solar Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to $60 million in funding over five years during fiscal years 2008 to 2012. The funding includes $10 million in fiscal year 2008 appropriations and $10 million in the fiscal year 2009 budget request to support the development of low-cost concentrating solar power (CSP) technology.

The FOA makes funding available for projects from industry and academia that develop advanced thermal storage concepts and heat transfer fluids to further increase the efficiency of CSP plants. DOE anticipates making 10 to 25 awards through competitive solicitation. With a minimum 20% cost share by the private sector for research and development phases and a minimum 50% private cost share for final demonstration phases, the total research investment in advanced solar technologies under this solicitation is expected to exceed $75 million.