This story is a staff report from The Paper.

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Beginning tomorrow, Albuquerque will welcome over 400 domestic and international attendees to the Solar Power and Chemical Engineering Systems (SolarPACES) 2022 International Conference. This conference is the premier international conference for commercial development and research for concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) and related technologies. The event will bring nearly 200 international visitors from 30 different countries to Albuquerque and is estimated to bring over $630,000 in direct spend to the city’s economy.

“We are thrilled to hold the SolarPACES conference in the U.S. and in Albuquerque and proud to highlight the world-leading solar thermal research, development and demonstration taking place here,” said Dr. Avi Shultz, Chair of the 2022 SolarPACES International Conference, and DOE Program Manager for CSP. “I’ve talked to many attendees who can’t wait to explore the city.”

More than 400 professionals in the CSP industry will gather at the Albuquerque Convention Center to share insights and research on thermal energy. Albuquerque has its own world-renowned CSP research center, the National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF), at Sandia National Laboratories. The NSTTF opened in 1978 as the world’s first solar tower research facility for CSP and has been operating for more than 40 years. The site has been a center of excellence in the development of technologies for CSP and has played a key role in the demonstration of innovations, like molten salt, used in some of the largest solar power plants in the world, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office.

“I’m very excited to finally see SolarPACES coming to Albuquerque,” said Dr. Cliff Ho, Sandia National Laboratories and Local Logistics Committee Lead. “The conference is normally held overseas, and it has been about four years in the making. The focus of this conference is very much aligned with the clean-energy goals of the city and New Mexico.”

The conference runs until Sept. 30.