WASHINGTON -- Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to continue U.S. leadership in clean energy innovation, the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) awarded $17 million in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) projects to help small businesses in 13 states develop prototype technologies that could improve manufacturing energy efficiency, reduce the cost of installing clean energy projects, and generate electricity from renewable energy sources. These projects will include technologies such as wind turbine blades that are easier to transport and use less energy, an electrochromic window technology that can achieve a 30% reduction in energy use, and a solar energy system that reduces installation costs and generates power in less time.
"Small businesses employ half of America’s workers and create two out of every three new jobs in the United States," said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson. "By supporting small businesses and driving American leadership in clean energy innovation, we can create new job and business opportunities, strengthen U.S. competitiveness in a growing global market and provide more clean, affordable energy to communities across the country.”
Supported by EERE, these projects will focus on developing clean energy technologies with a strong potential for commercialization and job creation. Technologies from the 17 projects include:
- Wind: Based in Lawrence, Kansas, Wetzel Engineering is commercializing a novel field-assembled modular technology to manufacture wind turbine rotor blades longer than 70m such that they can easily be transported by ground.
- Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling: Austin, Texas-based Sheetak, Inc. aims to develop a low-cost solid-state heat pump technology that cuts the energy needed to heat water for commercial buildings and homes.
- Electric Vehicles: Headquartered in Rockledge, Florida, Mainstream Engineering Corporation will develop a hybrid electric turbocharger to help charge plug-in electric vehicles faster – providing drivers with more options to save money on fuel and cut carbon emissions.
These awards are for Phase II SBIR projects to further develop Phase I projects and produce a prototype or equivalent within two years. See the full list of projects HERE and find more information on the Department’s Small Business Innovation Research program.