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  • Writer's pictureKristin Cooper

DOE Announces $24.5 Million for Manufacturing Innovation to Build a Clean, Resilient Electric Grid

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $24.5 million to support improvements in domestic manufacturing to build resilient, modern electricity infrastructure and address the climate emergency. The two funding opportunities will back research and development (R&D) for the materials and technologies needed to expand the grid with new, clean-energy sources, deliver affordable electricity to disadvantaged communities, and help reach the Biden Administration’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“By investing in American-made, clean-energy technologies, the Department of Energy is harnessing our country’s innovative spirit to build an equitable and sustainable energy system,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These funding opportunities will help manufacture the next-generation energy storage systems and power lines that support President Biden’s climate goals, create and sustain U.S. jobs, and build a strong, secure, and efficient electric grid.”

“The key to unlocking the full potential of solar and wind energy is to store it for use around the clock,” said Representative Diana DeGette. “Flow battery technology can help us utilize the full potential of these clean-energy resources, and investing in this important new technology now is vital to our overall effort to combat the climate crisis.”

Today’s announcement includes funding opportunities designed to bring manufacturable technologies from the lab to the marketplace:

The “Flow Battery Systems Manufacturing” funding opportunity will award up to $20 million for R&D projects focusing on flow battery systems. Flow batteries are electrochemical batteries that use externally stored electrolytes, making them cost less, safer, and more flexible and adaptable.

While lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in electric vehicles and portable devices for various applications, flow batteries are particularly well-suited for grid storage needs. By partnering with industry to address flow battery challenges, this opportunity can help position the United States as a world leader in the next-generation energy storage technologies.

The Conductivity-enhanced materials for Affordable, Breakthrough Leapfrog Electric applications (CABLE) Conductor Manufacturing Prize will support the commercialization of affordable, manufacturable materials that will conduct electricity more efficiently than today’s best conductors. Conductivity-enhanced materials can help address the climate emergency by easing the addition of renewable resources and electric cars to the grid, maximizing next-generation energy storage technologies, and supporting efficiency in electricity-intensive sectors like transportation and manufacturing.

CABLE is a three-stage, three-year prize that will award up to $4.5 million in cash and vouchers to competitors who will identify and verify new materials and methods to achieve significant enhancements in conductivity. Competitors must also offer a pathway to produce the new conductivity-enhanced material affordably.

Stage one, which focuses on materials and manufacturing concepts for enhanced electrical conductivity, is now open. Visit the American-Made Challenges website for more information and contact us for help designing an award winning application.

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