US DOE announces over US$65 million in funding to commercialize "promising energy technologies"
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced over US$30 million in federal funding, matched by over US$35 million in private sector funds, for 68 projects representing 12 National Labs that will accelerate the commercialization of promising energy technologies—ranging from clean energy and advanced manufacturing to building efficiency and next-generation materials.
According to a statement, these awards will help deploy innovative solutions from DOE’s National Labs onto the marketplace helping to create new jobs and businesses, while strengthening the nation’s economic competitiveness and achieving President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
President Biden is serious about making sure America corners the clean energy market—and that means we need to work with our nation’s savviest entrepreneurs to fast-track solutions from DOE’s National Labs into commercial-ready technologies. These projects will help us deploy game-changing innovations that position us to win the clean energy race, while creating jobs and opportunity across every pocket of the country, said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.
The awards are facilitated by the DOE Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF). The TCF was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to help catalyze the agency’s research, development, demonstration, and deployment efforts into affordable, market-ready energy solutions, by strengthening partnerships between DOE’s National Labs and American entrepreneurs.
To date, the TCF has funded more than 380 projects by unlocking more than US$170 million in funding from more than 300 private sector partners, including automotive manufacturers, energy storage companies, utilities, bioenergy companies, solar providers, and aerospace companies. To receive a TCF award, National Lab teams must receive a commitment from private sector partners to match at least 50 percent of the anticipated federal funding.
The innovations of tomorrow will be based on our investments today. So as we allocate federal funding, we must ensure that we prioritize renewable energy and efficiency solutions that will allow us to build a sustainable and just society. This US$30 million investment from the Department of Energy is an investment in the next economy, good jobs, and our health and safety as we move rapidly toward net-zero carbon emissions. The National Labs and entrepreneurs behind these projects have been leading this crucial work. But as we know, resources are typically hard to come by for those from marginalized communities. We must keep that in mind as we scale up these programs to spur innovation, and ensure that we break the cycle of disinvestment in innovators of color. I am excited to be partnering with Secretary Granholm and the Department of Energy in that mission, said US Representative Jamaal Bowman.
This year’s selected TCF projects represent 12 DOE National Labs across the nation, supported by partners in 25 states and four countries, including:
Ames Laboratory — US$343 500 in federal funds cost-shared by partners in Pennsylvania and New York. Projects include an alternative for supply-dependent critical rare earth magnets and an energy-efficient process for coatings used in high-energy efficiency gas turbines.
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) — US$4 150 000 in federal funds, cost-shared by partners in Wisconsin, California, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana. Projects include processing materials for energy storage, highly efficient processes to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) to chemicals, advanced materials processing to produce fast reactor fuel alloys, and industrial simulation improvements.
Idaho National Laboratory — US$1 175 000 in federal funds, cost-shared by partners in Arizona and Idaho. Projects include new alloy anodes for electrochemical production of advanced materials, modeling to improve the resilience and reliability of the United States’ power grid, and a hardware-software appliance to ensure secure wireless communications in a power generation facility.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — US$2 029 599 in federal funds, cost-shared by partners in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Connecticut. Projects include a detector for the identification of fissionable materials, sustainable aviation fuel, and reducing the water requirement of hydrogen production.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory — US$3 130 000 in federal funds, cost-shared by partners in California. Projects include carbon capture improvements, a technology to improve the reliability of the metal additive manufacturing process, improvements to Lidar, and converting biogas to sellable products.
Los Alamos National Laboratory — US$4 724 659 in federal funds, cost-shared by partners in California, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Projects include the remote monitoring of power transmission lines, innovative manufacturing technology for carbon-carbon composites, an innovative approach to renewable hydrogen production, and machine learning of natural and engineered geoscience processes.
National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) — US$150 000 in federal funds cost-shared by a partner in Oklahoma. The project focuses on chemical conversions.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) — US$5 044 337 in federal funds, cost-shared by partners in California, Florida, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina. Projects include thin films for solar modules, hybrid power plants, bioproducts, offshore wind turbines, electric aviation systems, grid resilience, super insulation, wind power plants, hydrogen-based power plant support, energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, distributed energy resources management, bio-based insecticides, and CO2 waste gas scrubbing processes.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) — US$5 126 689 in federal funds, cost-shared by partners in Tennessee, New York, Minnesota, and North Carolina. Projects include converters for extremely fast charging, artificial intelligence for characterizing additive manufacturing, and others.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) — US$4 819 579 in federal funds, cost-shared by partners in Texas, Quebec (Canada), New York, Illinois, Oklahoma, Ontario (Canada), Washington, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and California. Projects include self-healing cement for subsurface application, cybersecurity applications for control rooms, and optimization of hydropower and marine hydrokinetic facilities.
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) — US$2 092 523 in federal funds, cost-shared by partners in Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Cleveland (UK), and New Mexico. Projects include alkaline water electrolysis, improved power converters for microgrids, and robotics for the optimization of wind energy generation.
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory—US$115 000 in federal funds. The project involves the development of transactive energy service systems.