DOE Announces $9.1 Million for Small Businesses Focused on Clean Energy Innovation


The below announcement of $9.1 million awarded to small businesses working on innovative energy solutions was released by the Department of Energy earlier today. Twelve California businesses were awarded funds, including:

  • Lucent Optics, Inc. in Sacramento for an Ultra-Thin Flexible LED Lighting Panel;
  • Extensible Energy, LLC in Lafayette for a Solar Load Balancing Simulator;
  • Saratoga Energy Research Partners LLC in Berkeley for Low-Cost High-Power Anode Material for Automotive Lithium-Ion Batteries;
  • Engine Systems Innovation, Inc. in Rancho Palos Verdes for Continuously Variable Displacement (CVD) Engine Concept Validation
  • KWJ Engineering Incorporated in Newark for Accurate Micro-Amperometric CO2 Gas Sensor for Indoor Air Quality and Building Control Network;
  • Hi-Z Technology, Inc. in San Diego for Energy-Water Nexus Renewable Energy Forward Osmosis Desalination System

In support of National Small Business Week, the Energy Department today announced 61 new projects led by small businesses in 25 states to develop clean energy technologies with a strong potential for commercialization and job creation. These award selections are for $150,000 each, totaling more than $9 million, and will help small businesses with promising ideas that could improve manufacturing processes, boost the efficiency of buildings, increase transportation sustainability, and generate electricity from renewable sources.

Companies competing for these grants were encouraged to propose innovations to meet ambitious cost and performance targets. The small businesses receiving the awards are located in 25 states:  California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

See the full list of projects.

Among the 61 projects selected for awards are:

  • From Menomonee Falls, WI, E-Motors Consulting, a team including two Wisconsin start-ups and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will develop an innovative technology to harvest the vast hydropower resources available in small rivers and man-made channels. Their proposed solution integrates an electric generator with a turbine and water conduit made from state-of-the-art, 3D-printed components.
  • From Rockledge, FL, Mainstream Engineering Corporation will develop macromolecular catalysts that function like clam shells and react selectively with a wide variety of hydrocarbon compounds. High selectivity in chemical reactions is the key to reducing costs, energy consumption and emissions in manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, chemicals used in agriculture, and personal care products.
  • From Wallingford, CT, Proton Energy Systems will research catalysts for ammonia production that could dramatically increase efficiency, lower emissions and revolutionize agricultural chemicals and other chemicals production. This process for electrochemical ammonia synthesis is a promising alternative to the conventional process.
  • From San Diego, CA, General Engineering and Research, LLC, will investigate a low-cost material for magnetic refrigeration systems to enable a highly efficient and economical solution to support liquid hydrogen production.

In addition to the projects above, at the nexus of water and energy, the Department also selected eight innovative water desalination projects from California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia that will pursue a range of cost-effective solutions to meet our growing need for more secure sources of water and power.

Funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) through the Energy Department’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, today’s Phase I selections explore the feasibility of innovative concepts that could be developed into prototype technologies. For more information on EERE’s SBIR/STTR efforts, see  For information on the Department’s SBIR/STTR program, visit the SBIR/STTR website


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