WA State Department of Commerce Awards $8.2M for Clean Energy Projects

Competitive process identifies 10 proposed research, development and demonstration projects for Clean Energy Fund grants of $93,000 to $2.3 million

Source:  Washington State Department of Commerce, June 13, 2019

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced over $8.2 million in grants from the state’s Clean Energy Fund to ten proposed projects that will support research, development and deployment of renewable energy technologies in Washington. All grants must be matched at least dollar-for-dollar with other sources of on-state funding.

“This latest round of Clean Energy Fund projects again showcases the power of public-private partnerships to accelerate innovation. Together, we will ensure that Washington leads in advancing the low-carbon economy that is so vital to the future of our environment and economy,” said Gov. Jay Inslee.

“Washington’s culture of innovation is a primary driver of our diverse and vibrant state economy,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “These projects have the potential to strengthen communities all over the state – from the Olympic Peninsula to Spokane to the Columbia Gorge, renewable energy technology development and deployment provide new opportunities for everyone.”

  • Beta Hatch (SeaTac): $937,800 to design and build Washington’s first commercial insect farm, with air handling systems to optimize waste heat use from a data center. The project represents a novel end-use for low-value waste heat generated by computer server farms in rural Washington.
  • Corumat (Mercer Island): $2,344,500 for development of bio-derived plastics for the food industry. This project allows the replacement of solid plastic with as little as 1/3 the material. Replacing petroleum pellets with bioplastic pellets also dramatically reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC) (Port Angeles): $707,570 to develop new lightweight products from recycled aerospace carbon fiber composite scrap for multiple applications, such as marine cabling for kelp and aquatic shellfish farming and advanced cross-laminated timber.
  • Insitu (Bingen):  $803,196 for development of a transportable hydrogen generation and liquefaction system to produce clean hydrogen fuel from a renewable power source. The project proposes to use water and electricity to produce LH2 fuel for powering zero-emission hydrogen-electric vehicles and machines, dramatically reducing petroleum use.
  • Oscilla Power (Seattle):  $555,737 to advance its Triton wave energy converter technology in order to capture energy from ocean waves at the lowest level cost of electricity possible.
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Solid Phase) (Richland): $937,800 to scale up Shear Assisted Processing and Extrusion (ShAPE™) processing of magnesium and other lightweight alloys, a method that results in a fine and uniform grain structure and requires less energy than state-of-the-art methods for extrusion of lightweight alloys. 
  • Sironex Composite (Covington): $234,450 to develop new, high-performance ingredients for cleaning products using natural oils and agricultural waste instead of petroleum. This new class of surfactants enables substantial expansion of the bio-renewable and bio-degradable cleaning products market.
  • Spokane Eco (Spokane): $515,790 for developing machine-learning-based control methods to optimize building and equipment control systems in a building complex. Machine learning is a method used to develop models and algorithms, known as predictive analytics, to assist buildings in more efficiently responding to electrical grid needs. Besides transportation, commercial buildings are a major contributor to carbon dioxide emissions.
  • University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory (Seattle): $93,309 to demonstrate an improvement in wave energy conversion technology through the development of a new control system for converting the energy in waves to electricity.
  • University of Washington Mechanical Engineering Department (Seattle): $1,125,360 to make composites manufacturing economically viable by ensuring high part quality, lowering energy costs and minimizing waste and scrap. The project will demonstrate how to predictably design and produce complex (hi-contour) thermoplastic composite parts using automated robotic systems.

All of these competitive grant awards are conditional upon execution of final project agreements and performance-based contracts with Commerce. These selected projects were among 52 applicants, requesting a total of more than $51 million.

Commerce consulted and coordinated with clean energy higher education institutions, national laboratories and other clean energy industry organizations to design this grant program. Funding supports innovative work at Washington research institutions, organizations and clean energy technology companies.

Since 2013, state Clean Energy Fund investments have helped incentivize public and private utilities and their partners to accelerate deployment of renewable energy technologies. For information on this and other Clean Energy Fund grant opportunities, visit www.commerce.wa.gov/CEF.

Contacts:  Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, Seattle, WA, (206) 256-6106

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