Sharp Labs nets $2.9 million from feds for energy storage development
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the ARPA-E awards were given to technologies that are "swinging for the fences." Sharp Laboratories of America won $2.9 million to develop a grid-scale battery.
Sharp Laboratories of America was named among 66 grants awarded Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy program, known as ARPA-E.
The Camas, Wash.-based lab will receive $2.9 million for its work on the development of a grid-scale energy storage battery.
Sharp will develop a sodium ion-based battery that will dramatically increase the battery's cycle life at a price point that beats what the Department of Energy had set as a cost target for stationary energy storage.
Large-scale energy storage is a key piece of the energy management picture for integrating renewable energy — which is often sporadic in its generation levels — onto the grid.
ARPA-E awarded $130 million in funding Wednesday through its “OPEN 2012” program.
The program is set up to fund breakthrough technologies being developed by companies and universities that energy officials see as game-changing innovations. The awards have become an important source of funding for early-stage clean technologies.
Wednesday's awards encompass 11 technology areas being developed in 24 states.
"The 66 projects selected today represent the true mission of ARPA-E: swinging for the fences and trying to hit home runs to support development of the most innovative technologies and change what’s possible for America’s energy future," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a press release.
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