Feds Announces $50M in New Solar Funding

The Nevada Test Site has long been known as a proving ground for nuclear weapons. Now, Nevada is slated to provide the demonstration site for an altogether more benign form of technology, a.k.a., solar energy.

The Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) will serve as a proving ground for such cutting-edge tech as concentrating solar thermal power and concentrating photovoltaic energy, as per a recent announcement from US Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu regarding a new $50 million funding opportunity designed to test and demonstrate innovative technologies with the potential to lower the cost of solar, and which will also be used for utility applications in the Southwestern United States.

solar farm

image via PG&E

The dedicated Solar Demonstration Zone within the Nevada National Security Site will complement the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management’s 24 Solar Energy Study Areas on public lands by providing data concerning the commercial viability of these technologies. The demonstration projects that will take place in Nevada are intended to be large enough to provide useful data for the eventual deployment of such tech at utility-scale (typically, grid-connected projects larger than 20 megawatts). More information on this funding opportunity will become available in the New Year.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.