Th U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Thursday announced a new Solar Demonstration Zone on public lands in Nevada.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu was joined by Interior Secretary Ken
Salazar, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada in making the announcement.
The Demonstration Zone will be located in the southwest corner of the Nevada Test Site, a former nuclear site, and DOE will develop innovative solar projects there in an effort to bridge the gap between promising technologies and full-scale commercialization efforts.
Under the agreement, the federal government is dedicating more than
25 square miles to solar energy research—an area larger than Manhattan.
DOE will use the site to demonstrate innovative Concentrating Solar
Power (CSP) technologies. CSP systems concentrate the sun's energy and
capture that energy as heat, which then drives an engine or turbine to
produce electrical power.
Plans are underway to create a new DOE
funding opportunity for demonstration projects at the Nevada Test Site
that will include matching investments from the private sector.
"The Nevada Test Site is about to play a new role in securing America's future--but instead of testing nuclear weapons, we will test new solar technologies that will help put America on a sustainable energy path," said Secretary Chu.