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U.S. Department of Energy announces new funding to electrify domestic aircraft, railroads and ships

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced USD15 million for 12 projects across 11 states to advance next-generation, high-energy storage solutions to help accelerate the electrification of the aviation, railroad, and maritime transport sectors.

Funded through the Pioneering Railroad, Oceanic and Plane ELectrification with 1K energy storage systems (PROPEL-1K) program, the DOE says projects will develop energy storage systems with “1K” technologies capable of achieving or exceeding 1000 Watt-hour per kilogram (Wh/kg) and 1000 Watt-hour per liter (Wh/L), which is a greater than four times energy density improvement compared to current technologies.

“Reducing emissions in the transportation sector—which is the largest contributor to the country’s greenhouse gas emissions—is critical to achieving President Biden’s clean energy and climate goals,” said ARPA-E Director Evelyn N. Wang. “ARPA-E is pleased to announce the dozen teams that will pursue exciting new solutions for powering and electrifying heavy-duty transportation.”

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which manages the funding says the selected 12 project teams will work on high-energy storage solutions, capable of catalysing broad electrification of aviation, railroad and maritime sectors:

  • And Battery Aero (Palo Alto, CA)
  • Aurora Flight Sciences (Manassas, VA)
  • Georgia Tech Research Corporation (Atlanta, GA)
  • Giner (Newton, MA)
  • Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) (Chicago, IL)
  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
  • Precision Combustion (North Haven, CT)
  • Propel Aero (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
  • Washington State University (Pullman, WA)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
  • Wright Electric (Malta, NY)

“These selections represent the first phase of an expected two-phase program” according to the announcement. “Phase 1 is expected to be completed in 18 months following contract completion. If successful, PROPEL-1K technologies will electrify regional flights traveling as far as 1,000 miles with up to 100 people, all North American railroads, and all vessels operating exclusively in U.S. territorial waters.

“ARPA-E advances high-potential, high-impact clean energy technologies across a wide range of technical areas that are strategic to America’s energy security. Learn more about these efforts and ARPA-E’s commitment to ensuring the United States continues to lead the world in developing and deploying advanced clean energy technologies.”

For more information

(Image: US Department of Energy)

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