The U.S Department of Energy (DOE) on Monday announced it was awarding an array of small businesses across the United States $188 million in to help them develop technologies that have strong potential for commercialization and job creation. A chunk of this money, around $73 million, is Recovery Act funds earmarked to bring clean energy ideas to market.
The DOE said that the $188 million is going to 201 small businesses in approximately 34 states, with these businesses being spread across 76 technology topics. These areas include clean energy focuses such as the smart grid, energy efficient buildings, industrial energy use, advanced renewables, cleaner fossil power, carbon cycle measurement, and high performance computing.
The DOE highlighted a couple of examples of businesses it is helping fund, including Infotility in Boulder, Colorado, who is building a smart controller that enables communication among distributed energy systems-such as roof-top solar panels, a plug-in electric vehicle, and demand response devices in the home. Another project, centered around advanced solar technologies, is being run by Luminit in Torrance, California. They are developing a unique sun-tracking holographic concentrator that separately uses both visible light for photovoltaic power and infra-red light to provide heat and hot water for a building.
“Small businesses are a major engine of innovation and job creation in our economy,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a statement. “Bringing these innovative technologies to market will help spur economic growth and reduce the country’s energy use.”