SolarReserve’s breakthrough solar technology is the result of decades of DOE-supported research and testing. With SunShot initiative funding, SolarReserve developed innovative, multipurpose applications of molten salt, which debuted at our 110 MW Crescent Dunes solar plant in Nevada. The project created 4,300 jobs over the course of its development.
Through a 25-year power purchase agreement with NV Energy, SolarReserve’s energy storage integration allows the utility easily and reliably deliver clean energy to 75,000 Nevada homes, even at peak-demand and when the sun’s not out. Crescent Dunes can store as much energy as all operational utility-scale batteries in the world combined, but for a fraction of the cost.
DOE’s resources enabled SolarReserve to scale efficient and cost-effective storage solutions for commercial Concentrated Solar Power plants around the globe and set the stage for even cheaper, more efficient technology in the future.
Benefits: New solar technology project created 4,300 jobs and cn provide clean energy to 75,000 Nevada homes.
Geothermal research investment from the Energy Department was Calpine’s key to unlocking a wealth of geothermal resources from previously abandoned steam fields. The funding helped Calpine develop a powerful database that could create highly accurate models of geothermal reservoir locations and volume. More precise reserve estimates make for safer drilling and minimize the risk of stranded assets – both of which significantly lower the cost of geothermal development.
Calpine’s exploration revealed drilling techniques that could actually expand geothermal field power generation capacity, like staggering the drilling process over different portions of the field. Not only did Calpine’s work uncover 40-45 MW available on-site at the Caldwell Ranch Exploration Project and EGS demonstration area, but it also confirmed a replicable approach to harnessing energy from abandoned geothermal fields elsewhere.
Partners: Calpine Corporation
Benefits: Advancements in geothermal energy extraction uncovered 45 MW in at the Caldwell Ranch project site, and improved the capacity potential of geothermal wells in California and beyond.
With EERE funds, Alden Research Laboratory and Voith Hydro collaborated with the Electric Power Research Institute to develop an eco-friendly hydroelectric power solution. Our resulting Alden Fish Friendly Turbine allows fish to travel downstream safely, providing sustainable, low-impact generation at more than 1000 existing facilities — and the opportunity to scale reliable, renewable hydropower to thousands of new sites.
Sophisticated testing, made possible by EERE support, helps to optimize Voith’s technology for commercial deployment to hundreds of existing water power projects in the United States.
Partners: Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI); Voith Hydro; Alden Research Laboratory
Benefits: Alden hydroelectric will provide a more sustainable option for producing electricity at more than 1,000 estimated environmentally sensitive hydropower facilities and enable hydropower development at thousands of new sites.
EERE supported Heliotrope Technologies’ partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to develop state-of-the-art technology that reduces energy consumption while maintaining indoor comfort. The resulting Universal Smart Window Coating lets users control the amount of heat and light that enters through building windows.
EERE helped Heliotrope take smart window technologies to the next level. USW’s ability to block heat-producing radiation without blocking visible light means that occupants can enjoy natural light indoors without having to rev up air-conditioning, and can toggle the windows between dark and bright modes. With nearly a third of U.S. energy consumption going toward building lighting and cooling, USW is a significant boon to building efficiency.
Partners: Heliotrope Technologies, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Benefits: First-of-its-kind technology enables dynamic control over how much of the sun’s heat and light enters a building. Receives 2013 R&D 100 Award.