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Department of Energy Provides Major Funding Opportunities

The start of the new year has brought with it numerous opportunities for energy tech funding from the Department of Energy. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been or are being given out to companies and research institutions across the country – opportunities stretch a wide variety of focus areas, from solar energy storage to grid modernization. It’s evident that energy and environment is a top priority for the Obama administration in its final year in office, and this is good news for those companies on the cutting edge of energy technology. For details on several of the DOE’s funding initiatives and its particularly substantial efforts on grid modernization in particular, read on.

One of the most significant recent DOE funding efforts is its new Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan. Alongside the plan comes an award of up to $220 million over three years to support research and development in advanced storage systems, clean energy integration, standards and test procedures, and a number of other key grid modernization areas. The DOE has already invested more than $4.5 billion through the Recovery Act stimulus funding over the past few years. This most recent round of grid mod funding will support 88 innovative grid technology projects led by 14 of DOE’s National Labs, in coordination with public and private-sector partners. These projects will seek to solve challenges posed by the integration of conventional and renewable sources with energy and smart buildings, all while ensuring the grid is secure against threats like cyber-attacks and climate change. For more info on the labs and projects that will be funded by the DOE award, click here.

Other recently announced DOE funding opportunities include the following:

- $58 million to advance fuel-efficient vehicle technologies, with which the DOE will solicit projects across vehicle technologies like energy storage, electric drive systems, and advanced combustion.

- $21 million to lower solar energy deployment barriers, money that is intended to help states take advantage of falling solar prices while also supporting research on solar energy innovation and technology adoption patterns.

- $18 million to develop solar energy storage solutions, money that will fund six new projects across the US that will enable the development and demonstration of integrated, scalable, and cost-effective solar tech that incorporate energy storage power to American homes after the sun sets or when clouds are overhead.

- $11.3 million to develop flexible biomass-to-hydrocarbon biofuels conversion pathways that can be modified to produce advanced fuels and/or products based on other factors like market demand.

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Thomas R. Burton, III

Member / Chair, Energy & Sustainability Practice

Tom Burton has helped to shape the clean energy industry by drawing on his passion for innovation. As a Mintz attorney, Tom counsels investors, entrepreneurs, and Fortune 100 companies. He also guides start-up organizations and accelerators to foster the next generation of energy leaders.