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U.S. Department of Energy Secretary (DOE) Steven Chu, U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have selected the southwest corner of the Nevada Test Site, a former nuclear site, as the new Solar Demonstration Zone to demonstrate cutting-edge solar energy technologies.

The site is located on lands owned by the DOI's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and administered by the DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration. Chu and Salazar signed an interagency memorandum of understanding that will enable the DOE to develop solar energy projects at the Nevada Test Site.

The DOE will demonstrate innovative concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies. The Solar Demonstration Zone will complement the BLM's establishment of 24 Solar Energy Study Areas on public lands across the U.S. Southwest by helping to ensure that the most advanced CSP technologies are ready for commercial deployment.  Plans are under way to create a new DOE funding opportunity for demonstration projects at the Nevada Test Site that will include matching investments from the private sector.

These projects will serve as proving grounds for new solar technologies, providing a critical link between DOE's advanced technology development and full-scale commercialization efforts, according to the agencies.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Energy

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