U.S. Department of Energy Announces $100 Million to Boost Commercialization of Eight New Clean Energy Technologies
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the award of $100 million to fund eight clean energy technology projects that support President Biden’s goals to lower emissions through clean energy deployment, reduce dependence on imports of critical minerals, and secure the nation’s standing as a global leader of research and innovation. The selected projects, sponsored by private companies across seven different states, will develop novel technologies that enhance existing clean energy infrastructure, such as aircraft electrification, rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging, and advanced floating offshore wind turbine technologies. Today’s announcement underscores the Department’s commitment to supporting the Biden-Harris Administration’s agenda by investing in American-made technologies that address the climate crisis, strengthen the nation’s economic competitiveness, and advance energy and national security.
“Meeting the President’s goals of cutting greenhouse gases by 50% by 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 will require an acceleration of private sector investments across the clean energy and transportation sectors,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “These projects will catalyze the commercialization of promising technologies so that they are available to be broadly deployed across the country in support of reaching our clean energy future.”
Projects announced today will be funded and managed through the Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential (SCALEUP) program, led by DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The program provides a path to market for previously funded ARPA-E projects that have established market interest and proven successes within the respective industry. The SCALEUP program provides further funding to previous ARPA-E teams that have been determined to be feasible for widespread deployment and commercialization domestically. SCALEUP selectees demonstrate a viable path to commercial deployment and the ability to attract private sector investments.
The eight teams selected as part of the latest group of SCALEUP awardees are:
- Ampaire Inc. (Hawthorne, CA) will work to commercialize hybrid electric propulsion technologies for aircraft. The planned development and testing program will include tests consistent with FAA certification requirements. These practical electrified technologies could save more than 50% on fuel and emissions, and 25% on operating costs. (Award amount: $9,000,000)
- CorePower Magnetics, Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA) will establish the first scaled domestic manufacturing of high-power density magnetic components based on their engineered alloy technology to commercialize new inductors, transformers, and motors of significantly reduced size and weight. By reducing the size of these components and improving efficiency, this will dramatically improve EV efficiency. (Award amount: $5,000,000)
- Imagen Energy (Wauwatosa, WI) will scale up and commercially demonstrate efficient, cost-effective U.S.-manufactured EV fast charging equipment. The compact EV fast charger will optimize limited grid power availability at public and fleet charging locations to enable resilience and flexibility and is ideal for urban communities that otherwise lack investment opportunities to deliver the benefits of EVs. (Award amount: $12,000,000)
- InventWood LLC (College Park, MD) will contribute to the decarbonization of buildings and enable built structures to store significantly greater amounts of carbon by scaling up a game-changing wood material, MettleWood, that is 60% stronger than construction grade steel but 80% lighter, much less expensive, and far more sustainable. MettleWood has the potential to serve as a replacement for structural beams, columns, and connections that will ultimately result in significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. (Award amount: $20,000,000)
- Kent Houston Offshore Engineering (Houston, TX) will advance two disruptive floating offshore wind turbine technologies that are integrated with a NASA-developed passive control system. Designs will focus on lower fabrication costs, reduced design loads, and lighter, more efficient and cost-effective integrated units, which will result in significantly lower levelized cost of electricity and ultimately profitable floating offshore wind farms. (Award amount: $17,500,000)
- Niron Magnetics, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN) will commercialize the first powerful permanent magnet that is free of critical materials. Niron’s magnet is instead made from abundant commodity raw materials. This will enable a less expensive, domestically manufacturable solution for the clean economy with minimum supply chain risk and a significantly reduced environmental footprint. (Award amount: $17,500,000)
- Quidnet Energy, Inc. (Houston, TX) will scale its Geomechanical Pumped Storage (GPS) to a commercial system at CPS Energy, the largest U.S. municipal utility. GPS uses the earth as a mechanical battery by storing energy as pressurized water between layers of rock. The objective is to lower cost associated with long-duration energy storage by 50-75% to enable more reliable and cost-effective utilization of renewable electricity generating assets. (Award amount: $10,000,000)
- Via Separations, Inc. (Watertown, MA) will show how innovative membrane modules used in industrial manufacturing processes can be readily applied to a variety of pulp and paper facilities. The project will adapt the technology for broader use in other industries and offer potential energy cost savings of up to 90% along with associated CO2 emission reductions. (Award amount: $9,750,000)
This is the second cohort of projects funded under the SCALEUP program, following nine projects funded in 2019 that have each made significant progress toward commercialization. Today’s announcement brings total SCALEUP funding to over $170 million for 17 projects spanning a wide variety of technical areas. Learn more about the projects selected as part of SCALEUP.