Heliostat Consortium: Update on Resource, Training, and Education Development and Women+ in Concentrating Solar

Rebecca Mitchell, Jeremy Sment

Research output: NRELPresentation


One of the major barriers to Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) industry growth in the U.S. is the lack of accessibility of expert knowledge, a lack of a stable workforce pipeline, and little public awareness of the technology area. Improved Resource, Training, and Education (RTE) is needed to address these gaps, to draw workers into the field from diverse technology areas and backgrounds, and to reduce the learning curves of newcomers into the industry. As part of the RTE topic under the NREL-led Heliostat Consortium (HelioCon), a public online resource database has been created to support information sharing across the heliostat and CSP community. Here, information will be presented on the existing and planned database resources, including introductory information about CSP and heliostats, a reference library of texts and publications, educational videos, a CSP power tower plant database and case studies, a contact list of component suppliers and developers, and a list of available software/metrology tools. Women+ in Concentrating Solar is a newly created organization to promote the education, professional development, and advancement of underrepresented genders in the Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) community in a way that includes diverse backgrounds, attitudes, and perspectives. The main objectives of the groups are to provide the following opportunities for underrepresented genders: 1) organize events to provide networking opportunities and community building, 2) boost partnerships and scientific collaboration, 3) create resources to facilitate knowledge and experience sharing, 4) provide mentorship programs to support those new to the industry, 5) bring visibility to underrepresented genders and attract more to the field, and 6) promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and engage minorities and underrepresented groups. Initial activities being pursued by the group include creating an expert database to support event organizers in recruiting speakers with representation of all gender identities, hosting online networking and webinar events, organizing conference events including seminars and networking/social events, and establishing a mentorship program to connect members in the CSP community across the globe. The group is open to all genders and has grown to over 60 members in its first few months.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the ASME 17th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, 10-12 July 2023, Washington, D.C.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5700-87016


  • concentrating solar
  • HelioCon
  • heliostat
  • power tower
  • RTE


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