ARPA-E Releases $150 Million Open Funding Opportunity for “Transformational” Technologies

Posted in DOE, Investment on March 2nd, 2012 by News Desk –

DOE Sec. Steven Chu (left), President Bill Clinton (right) at ARPA-E Innovation Summit, Wash., DC, Feb. 29 2012

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) on Friday announced a $150 million funding opportunity open to “all transformational energy technologies to support the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above approach to solving our nation’s most pressing energy challenges.”

Scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs who would not otherwise be able to attract private investment, but could lead to breakthrough energy technologies, are invited to apply for funding, according to ARPA-E.

Individual awards under the open funding opportunity will range between $250,000 and $10 million.

This is the second open funding opportunity released under ARPA-E. The first was in 2009.

The Obama administration launched ARPA-E in 2009 to seek out breakthrough technologies that are too risky for private sector investment but have the potential to translate science into major advances in energy technology and form the foundation for entirely new industries.

Since its founding, ARPA-E has funded a total of more than 180 projects, for $521.7 million in awards across 12 program areas. Last year, 11 of its projects that received $40 million for innovative research were able to use this funding to demonstrate results, which allowed these teams to secure more than $200 million in outside private capital investment, according to the agency.

More details on the funding opportunity are available at the link below.

ARPA-E Funding Info

DOE’s SunShot Initiative to Fund $60 Million in Concentrating Solar Tech R&D

Posted in DOE, Solar Power on October 27th, 2011 by News Desk –

Energy Secretary Chu

Washington — The U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative will provide $60 million over three years for applied scientific research to advance concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies, which use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight to produce heat, which is then used to produce electricity.

Industry players, universities, and national laboratories are being encouraged to apply for research grants under the new funds allocation. DOE announced it expects to fund between 20 and 22 projects that have the potential to dramatically increase efficiency, lower costs, and deliver more reliable performance than existing commercial and near-commercial CSP systems.

Specific breakthroughs being targeted include improving efficiency and temperature ranges, and new approaches in the design of collectors, receivers, and power cycle equipment used in CSP systems.

Developing low-cost collectors, high-temperature receivers, and high-efficiency power cycles should lead to subsequent system integration, engineering scale-up, and eventual commercial production for clean electricity generation applications, according to DOE.

DOE website

DOE Awards $26.4 Million Contract to ECOtality for Vehicle Testing

Posted in DOE, Electric Vehicles on October 6th, 2011 by News Desk –

Image credit: ECOtality

San Francisco – ECOtality, a developer of transportation and energy storage technologies, has been awarded a five-year $26.4 million dollar contract to conduct the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Vehicle Testing and Evaluation (AVTE) project.

The AVTE project is intended to provide key data for technology modeling, and research and development programs by benchmarking and validating the performance of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles.

Technologies to be evaluated by ECOtality include plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; extended range electric vehicles; hybrid electric, pure electric and hydraulic vehicles; advanced electric drive and engine technologies; advanced energy storage technologies and chemistries; advanced climate control, power electronic, and other ancillary systems technologies; and internal combustion engines burning advanced fuels.

ECOtality has been a testing partner for the AVTA program for 13 years, and has worked with the DOE, vehicle manufacturers and industry stakeholders to develop test procedures used to conduct baseline, accelerated, fleet, and battery testing.

The company has conducted testing for more than 1,250 advanced vehicles and amassed over 11 million test miles in support of the program.

ECOtality website

DOE’s ARPA-E Awards $156 Million to 60 Clean Energy R&D Projects

Posted in DOE on September 30th, 2011 by News Desk –

Arun Majumdar, Director of ARPA-E

Washington, D.C. — The Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced today it has awarded $156 million to 60 research projects focused on new energy technologies.

The projects selected are located in 25 states, with 50% of projects led by universities, 23% by small businesses, 12% by large businesses, 13% by national labs, and 2% by non-profits.

The funded projects include a wide range of technologies, including:

  • biochemical processes of energy capture and conversion to develop farm-ready crops that deliver more energy per acre;
  • early-stage technology alternatives that reduce or eliminate the dependence on rare earth materials by developing substitutes;
  • and the Solar ADEPT program, which focuses on integrating advanced power electronics into solar panels and solar farms to extract and deliver energy more efficiently.

Prior to today, ARPA-E has awarded $365.7 million to about 120 energy technology R&D projects within seven program areas. This most recent round of selections brings the total to 180 projects, 12 program areas and $521.7 million in awards at ARPA-E to date.

Further details on the most recent projects receiving ARPA-E funding are available at the link below.

ARPA-E funding announcement

DOE Provides $150 Million Loan Guarantee for 1366 Technologies Factory

Posted in DOE, Solar Power on September 8th, 2011 by News Desk –

Photo credit: 1366 Technologies

Lexington, Mass. — 1366 Technologies, a producer of high-efficiency solar cells, has been awarded a $150 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a manufacturing plant that will be capable of producing about 700 to 1,000 megawatts (MW) of silicon-based wafers annually.

The new factory will use a manufacturing process called “direct wafer,” which could reduce manufacturing costs of solar wafers by about 50%, according to DOE. The first phase of the project will be located in Lexington, Mass. and is expected to create about 70 permanent jobs and 50 construction jobs.

1366 was founded four years ago by a team that includes MIT professor and photovoltaic industry expert Emanuel Sachs. The company makes multi-crystalline silicon solar cells and light-capturing ribbons. Its texturing process creates a geometrically optimized cell surface for better light capture and trapping, and is compatible with existing multicrystalline cell products, according to the company.

The company has raised nearly $40 million of venture capital from investors including Ventizz Capital Fund, Hanwha Chemical, Polaris Venture Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners. In 2009, 1366 was awarded $4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop its direct wafer technology.

is evaluating site locations for the second planned phase of its manufacturing plant construction, which the company anticipates will fund hundreds of additional jobs, the DOE announcement said.

1366 Technologies website