Last week, the Department of Energy, through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), released $30 million for 12 R&D projects to develop hybrid solar-thermal energy technologies that deliver cost-effective power when the sun is not shining. The projects will develop advanced solar converters that turn sunlight into electricity for immediate use and also produce heat that can be stored at low cost for later power applications. Funding will also support development of technologies that use innovative storage systems that accept and retain both heat and electricity from solar sources. The goal, according to DOE, is to advance solar energy beyond current photovoltaic and concentrated solar power technologies. In a statement, DOE applauded the recent growth in utility-scale U.S. projects, mostly in the Southwest, which has resulted in a solar installation record of 2.3 gigawatts in 2013. Also, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will travel this week to Ivanpah Dry Lake, Calif., to dedicate the world’s largest concentrating solar power plant.