WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that 66 research projects have been selected by its Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) to receive a total of $130 million in funding through the “OPEN 2012” program. According to DOE, ARPA-E seeks out breakthrough technologies that show fundamental technical promise but are too early for private-sector investment. These projects have the potential to produce significant results in energy technology and provide large commercial impacts.

The OPEN 2012 projects will focus on a wide range of technologies, including building efficiency, grid modernization, renewable power, and energy storage. The projects were selected through a merit-based process from thousands of concept papers and hundreds of full applications. The projects are based in 24 states, with approximately 47 percent of the projects led by universities, 29 percent by small businesses, 15 percent by large businesses, 7.5 percent by national labs, and 1.5 percent by nonprofits.

ARPA-E’s first funding opportunity, OPEN 2009, was issued three years ago and was similarly an open call for breakthrough energy technology solutions.

Examples of some the new projects are:

• Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — Automated Modeling and Simulation of Existing Buildings for Energy Efficiency

• California Institute of Technology — Optics for Ultra High-Efficiency Solar Energy Conversion

• University of North Dakota — Novel Dry Cooling Technology for Power Plants

• Yale University — Power Generation from Waste Heat with Closed-Loop Membrane-Based System

Publication date: 12/17/2012