The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding further $47 million in funding for seven projects as part of the SCALEUP program.
SCALEUP is short for ‘Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential’, and three of the projects are indeed scaling up advanced battery technologies for EVs and aviation. Sila, 24M and Ionic Materials, account for $27 million of the $47 million tranche.
Specifically, Sila was awarded $10 million for a project to scale up technology involving silicon anodes after they built a pilot production with past funding. 24M will receive $9 million for “Li-M anodes and cells destined to power electric aviation. This also ties in well with ARPA-E’s project with Wright Electric from October last year to help electrify commercialize air travel. Ionic Materials will be using the other $8 million to attempt to make mass production of batteries more economically efficient in the project “High-Throughput Manufacturing of Breakthrough Polymer Electrolyte to Enable Low-Cost Solid-State Batteries”.
Cambridge Electronics will be on the receiving end of $4.3 million to improve data management on 5G, while Switched Source LLC will receive $8.5 million to scale up cost-effective grid modernization. To create a comprehensive oil and gas emissions monitoring network, LongPath Technologies is the recipient of $5 million. The planned monitoring network is to locate and size natural gas emissions in real-time across 700 square miles of the Permian basin in the Southwest US, covering more than 850 oil and gas facilities.
The final $2.2 million will go to AutoGrid Systems for a scalable “Virtual Power Plant (VPP)” platform. This is designed to help optimize energy flow, or as the DOE puts it: “energy flexibility management and virtual power plant software platform that enables utilities and energy-as-a-service providers to aggregate and optimize distributed energy resources.”
“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 ARPA-E Director Lane Genatowski. “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.”
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