Energy Department Invests $17 Million in Clean Energy Small Businesses

March 26, 2014

As part of its Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, the Energy Department on March 20 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.

The SBIR awards went to businesses in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Texas. Technologies from the 17 projects include:

  • Hydropower: Amjet Turbine Systems of Keokuk, Iowa, aims to develop lightweight, low-cost hydropower turbines that can generate electricity from low-head dams and rivers all over the world

  • Energy-efficient heating and cooling: Austin, Texas-based Sheetak, Inc. will develop a low-cost solid-state heat pump technology that cuts the energy needed to heat water for commercial buildings and homes

  • Electric vehicles: Rockledge, Florida-based Mainstream Engineering Corporation will develop a hybrid electric turbocharger to help charge plug-in electric vehicles faster.

The awards are for Phase II SBIR projects to further develop Phase I projects and produce a prototype or equivalent within two years. See the Energy Department news release and the list of awards.