Scope of the projects include the development of thermochemical systems to store solar energy at high densities and temperatures in the form of chemical bonds, while using less storage material.

These systems are expected to reduce the cost for utility-scale CSP electricity generation.

DOE Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said, "By improving energy storage technologies for concentrating solar power systems, we can enhance our ability to provide clean and reliable solar power, even when the sun is not shining."

Besides, the Energy Department said that five CSP projects totaling 1.26GW capacity would become fully operational in the southwestern US in 2014.

Once fully operational, these CSP projects would generate enough electricity to power more than 350,000 average American homes.