From Department of Energy (US) : “Department of Energy Awards $125 Million to Bring Innovative Clean Energy Technologies to Market”

From Department of Energy (US)


July 20, 2021

The U.S. Department of Energy continues to power the clean energy revolution among American small businesses and entrepreneurs with awards totaling $125 million to support 110 innovative projects – each focused on tackling the climate crisis by harnessing market-oriented solutions and emerging technologies.

DOE’s Office of Energy and Efficiency and Renewable Energy (US) will award $57 million to 53 projects by 51 American small businesses and entrepreneurs with phase II funding based on the initial success of their phase I awards, including follow-on awards to support projects closer to market.

Entrepreneurs from 20 states will advance bold ideas spanning a wide spectrum of technology breakthroughs, from harnessing energy and energy storage solutions to strengthening cybersecurity for solar networks.

Through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, the phase II awards support the research and development of innovative clean energy technologies toward commercialization. EERE phase II awards are awarded for a two-year project duration, with initial funding up to $1.1 million, and two potential follow-on awards of up to $1.1 million each.

This effort also reflects the Biden Administration’s commitment to ensuring that the clean energy revolution does not leave behind historically marginalized communities of color. Of the 51 companies, more than 25% identified as either woman-owned, socially and economically disadvantaged, or in a HUBZone, focusing on the growth of historically underutilized business zones.

“We are honored to support this diverse body of pioneering entrepreneurs committed to scaling clean energy technologies and creating good-paying American jobs,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “Because of their example of ingenuity and creativity, I’m confident that we have the capacity to tackle the climate crisis by deploying a wide range of innovative solutions right here at home.”

Project highlights from among this year’s 53 EERE selections:

Low Total Cost of Hydrogen by Exploiting Offshore Wind and PEM Electrolysis Synergies by Giner Inc. in Newton, MA: This project will directly couple and evaluate the use of an electrolyzer stack with an offshore wind turbine for hydrogen production. The technology has the potential to enable increased green hydrogen production from renewable offshore wind energy, reducing global carbon dioxide emissions.

A High Energy Density Vehicle Battery with Drop-In Lithium Anode Enabled by a Stable Liquid Electrolyte by Automat Solutions, Inc. in Fremont, CA: This project will develop additives to improve the stability of liquid electrolytes for lithium metal batteries. Enabling high energy density lithium metal batteries improves the range and cost of batteries and could facilitate widespread adoption of electric vehicles, key to EERE’s goal of decarbonizing the transportation sector.

Near Infrared Biomass Probe and Deployment Methods for Real-time, Field-based, Biomass Quality Measurement by ANTARES Group Inc. in Edgewater, MD: This project will help further develop a novel way to identify and measure the quality of biomass. This new probe will provide more rapid assessment of biomass quality than traditional testing, thereby guiding real-time decisions on the need for additional quality improvements to produce conversion-ready feedstocks.

Intelligently Manufactured Homes with Factory Integrated Solar Systems Delivered to the Build Site Enabling Dramatic Soft Cost Reductions by Phase3 Photovoltaics in Portland, OR: This company is advancing its low-cost, pre-installed solar-plus-storage system for new factory-built homes. Building solar panels into the pre-manufactured-home fabrication process can substantially reduce the cost of the system relative to a traditional rooftop solar installation on a home. This solution will help low- to moderate-income consumers benefit from clean energy and supports the equitable transition to a clean energy economy by 2050. Phase3 Photovoltaics won the American-Made Solar Prize in 2019.

Tilt-Up Tower and Installation System to Reduce the Cost of Distributed Wind Turbines by Pecos Wind Power in Somerville, MA: Current small wind energy technologies require cost reductions to cost-effectively harness untapped clean energy. A first-of-its kind tilt-up tower and installation system will introduce new pathways for standardization and efficiency. The goal of phase II is to develop and test a full-scale prototype for technical validation prior to commercialization. The targeted 15% cost reduction will enable small, distributed wind systems to support the transition to a carbon-free electricity sector by 2050 and unlock good-paying clean energy jobs.

Sliding Element Energy Recovery (SEER) For Water Purification Systems by Amorphic Technology in Allentown, PA (HubZone): The SEER technology is based on recovering hydraulic energy from the brine in the turbine section of the device using a dual sliding vane rotor assembly that works like a “pressure exchanger” to feed mechanical energy into the pump. The SEER design minimizes the number of parts compared to conventional energy recovery devices, has high operational efficiency, and low-capital and operational costs. The project is focused on reducing energy and cost intensity for better performing and more sustainable water treatment systems.

Atomic Precision Manufacturing for CNTFETs by Carbon Technology Inc. in Irvine, CA: Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have unique, remarkable properties that make possible an up to 90% reduction in power use for semiconductors with linear performance at high power. This project is focused on atomic precision manufacturing of CNTs to meet the demands of a rapidly expanding market while improving energy efficiency and moving us closer to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

More information about the awards announced today is available at the following link:

The mission of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is to accelerate the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of technologies and solutions to equitably transition America to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050, and ensure the clean energy economy benefits all Americans, creating good paying jobs for the American people—especially workers and communities impacted by the energy transition and those historically underserved by the energy system and overburdened by pollution.

See the full article here.


Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

Stem Education Coalition

The Department of Energy (US) is a cabinet-level department of the United States Government concerned with the United States’ policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material. Its responsibilities include the nation’s nuclear weapons program; nuclear reactor production for the United States Navy; energy conservation; energy-related research; radioactive waste disposal; and domestic energy production. It also directs research in genomics. the Human Genome Project originated in a DOE initiative. DOE sponsors more research in the physical sciences than any other U.S. federal agency, the majority of which is conducted through its system of National Laboratories. The agency is led by the United States Secretary of Energy, and its headquarters are located in Southwest Washington, D.C., on Independence Avenue in the James V. Forrestal Building, named for James Forrestal, as well as in Germantown, Maryland.

Formation and consolidation

In 1942, during World War II, the United States started the Manhattan Project, a project to develop the atomic bomb, under the eye of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After the war in 1946, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was created to control the future of the project. The Atomic Energy Act of 1946 also created the framework for the first National Laboratories. Among other nuclear projects, the AEC produced fabricated uranium fuel cores at locations such as Fernald Feed Materials Production Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1974, the AEC gave way to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which was tasked with regulating the nuclear power industry and the Energy Research and Development Administration, which was tasked to manage the nuclear weapon; naval reactor; and energy development programs.

The 1973 oil crisis called attention to the need to consolidate energy policy. On August 4, 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed into law The Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977 (Pub.L. 95–91, 91 Stat. 565, enacted August 4, 1977), which created the Department of Energy(US). The new agency, which began operations on October 1, 1977, consolidated the Federal Energy Administration; the Energy Research and Development Administration; the Federal Power Commission; and programs of various other agencies. Former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, who served under Presidents Nixon and Ford during the Vietnam War, was appointed as the first secretary.

President Carter created the Department of Energy with the goal of promoting energy conservation and developing alternative sources of energy. He wanted to not be dependent on foreign oil and reduce the use of fossil fuels. With international energy’s future uncertain for America, Carter acted quickly to have the department come into action the first year of his presidency. This was an extremely important issue of the time as the oil crisis was causing shortages and inflation. With the Three-Mile Island disaster, Carter was able to intervene with the help of the department. Carter made switches within the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in this case to fix the management and procedures. This was possible as nuclear energy and weapons are responsibility of the Department of Energy.


On March 28, 2017, a supervisor in the Office of International Climate and Clean Energy asked staff to avoid the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction,” or “Paris Agreement” in written memos, briefings or other written communication. A DOE spokesperson denied that phrases had been banned.

In a May 2019 press release concerning natural gas exports from a Texas facility, the DOE used the term ‘freedom gas’ to refer to natural gas. The phrase originated from a speech made by Secretary Rick Perry in Brussels earlier that month. Washington Governor Jay Inslee decried the term “a joke”.


The Department of Energy operates a system of national laboratories and technical facilities for research and development, as follows:

Ames Laboratory
Argonne National Laboratory
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Idaho National Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory
National Energy Technology Laboratory
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Sandia National Laboratories
Savannah River National Laboratory
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Other major DOE facilities include:
Albany Research Center
Bannister Federal Complex
Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory – focuses on the design and development of nuclear power for the U.S. Navy
Kansas City Plant
Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory – operates for Naval Reactors Program Research under the DOE (not a National Laboratory)
National Petroleum Technology Office
Nevada Test Site
New Brunswick Laboratory
Office of Fossil Energy
Office of River Protection
Radiological and Environmental Sciences Laboratory
Y-12 National Security Complex
Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository

Pahute Mesa Airstrip – Nye County, Nevada, in supporting Nevada National Security Site