DOE ARPA-E Awards $156M to Cleantech (Video)

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DOE Secretary Steven Chu, 3/1/11 at ARPA-E Innovation Summit

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) identified and created 5 new areas of Energy Development. Arun Majumdar, Director of the Agency announced last Thursday 60 new research projects and now the recipients and projects have been identified. More than 50% of the awards and grants will go to Universities in over 25 states for breakthrough technology. The award amounts have yet to be finalized.

The 5 New Grant areas and the Awards:

A full listing of the grants is available on the ARPA-E site, as well as a larger explanation of the categories. They can be summarized as:

1) Plants Engineered To Replace Oil (PETRO) $36 million in grants will go to fund technologies that optimize the biochemical processes of energy capture and conversion to develop robust, farm-ready crops that deliver more energy per acre with less processing prior to the pump.

2) Rare Earth Alternatives in Critical Technologies (REACT)
$31.6M will fund early-stage technology alternatives that reduce or eliminate the dependence on rare earth materials. Substitutes will be used in electric vehicle motors and wind generators.

3) High Energy Advanced Thermal Storage (HEATS)
$37.3 million to develop cost-effective thermal energy storage technologies.

4) Green Electricity Network Integration (GENI)
$36.4M for utility-scale grid control. Two concerns to be addressed are controls necessary to integrate variable power supplies from some renewables with expected energy storage and to make the grid more secure against power outages like the EMP of solar flares.

5) Solar Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology (Solar ADEPT)
$14.7M will focus on integrating advanced power electronics into solar panels and solar farms to extract and deliver energy more efficiently. The advances are expected to reduce power conversion costs by up to 50% for utilities and 80% for homeowners.

Photo Credit: ENERGY.GOV


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