The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Tuesday an additional $47 million in funding for seven projects as part of the ARPA-E’s SCALEUP program. These projects are receiving funding to support new vehicle batteries’ scaling, data center efficiency, grid modernization, emissions mitigation, and storage technologies expected to be potentially disruptive.
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SCALEUP – $47M additional funding
DOE announced Tuesday it has provided additional funding to the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential (SCALEUP) program. The addition accounts for over $70 million, building on $24 million in previously announced “Fast Track” selections.
New SCALEUP awardees will receive funding to support the scaling of projects expected to be high-risk and potentially disruptive. The funding additions look to advance new electric vehicle battery development, data center efficiency, grid modernization, emissions mitigation, and storage technologies.
“ARPA-E’s SCALEUP program builds on the research and development mission of the agency to help take transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market,” said Lane Genatowski, ARPA-E Director.
“These selections directly address the challenge that so many early-stage energy concepts face in scaling and will help awardees to bridge the dreaded “Valley of Death” and continue on the path of commercialization.”
According to a DOE’s press release, the program is a first-of-its-kind initiative, supporting the scaling of modern technologies across the full spectrum of energy applications.
Furthermore, the program’s goal is to translate the lab’s performance- and bench-scale into a commercial application. The program aims to support promising energy technologies that require scaling-up or pre-pilot projects. Thus enabling their path to market and ultimately leading to realized commercial impact.
DOE points out SCALEUP awardees are unique since they focus on further developing existing technologies, highlighting the real-world impact organizations can obtain through scaling.
ARPA-E developed the program since several of its successful funded technologies needed to approach a better market path and be well-positioned for investment from the private sector.
These newly selected teams will add to previously selected “Fast Track” teams announced in September 2020, who received early funding due to disruptions in the investor and Research and Development (R&D) financing communities caused by COVID-19.
One SCALEUP awardee is Switched Source LLC, based in Vestal, NY. Switched Source is now introducing the next generation of distribution automation technology for large commercial and industrial customers and electric utilities.
This technology aims to be cost-effective, improving the electric distribution grid’s reliability, resiliency, and distributed generation hosting capacity.
The company’s product portfolio consists of two patented smart grid devices that actively manage real and reactive power flows on medium voltage systems. According to the DOE information, the critical next step is to run structured demonstration projects with third-party performance evaluations.
In this regard, the scaling federal funding ($8,560,000) will enable Switched Source to resolve commercial adoption risks through training in processes, infrastructure, and technology validation.
Another awardee is LongPath Technologies Inc., located in Boulder, Colorado. LongPath Technologies proposes the largest continuous emissions monitoring network for the oil and gas industry in the U.S.
In the company’s words, the network will locate and size natural gas emissions in real-time across 700 square miles of the Permian basin in the Southwest U.S.