WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $33 million to support 14 clean-energy research projects as part of a program to ensure the Department’s research funding is reaching pockets of the country that traditionally have received disproportionally low amounts of Federal scientific funding. The projects will cover a range of topics—including grid integration, renewable solar and wind energy, and advanced manufacturing. Today’s funding will help ensure all regions of the country share in the ownership of priority research that advances science and addresses energy and environmental issues as the country moves ahead to reach the Biden-Harris Administration’s ambitious climate goals.
“America’s next big energy breakthrough can come from anywhere in the nation, and that’s why Federal R&D investments should reach and benefit all parts of the country,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The funding we’re announcing today will spur innovation and create energy jobs around the nation.”
This funding—provided through DOE’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program—is intended to improve geographic distribution of Federal research and development funds and strengthen research capabilities in underserved regions of the country. There are 28 jurisdictions designated under EPSCoR, including 25 states and three U.S. territories.
Projects selected in today’s announcement cover a range of energy research topics, from fundamental science topics to efforts in fusion energy, climate and ecosystem modeling, grid integration, wind energy, and sensors for energy conversion.
- Boise State University (Boise, Idaho): Addresses understanding needed to design dye components that may be used for quantum computing.
- Jackson State University (Jackson, Miss.): Discovering how interactions of thin layer materials with bulk materials can boost electronic and heat-conduction properties to improve energy efficiency in electronics.
- University of Alaska Fairbanks (Fairbanks, Alaska): Working to modernize our power grid to fully accommodate renewable energy sources.
- University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.): Understanding how materials selection and pattern geometry impact light-matter interactions in nanoscale magnets arrays.
- University of Maine (Orono, Maine): Preparing sensors to monitor and control energy conversion systems.
- University of Nebraska–Lincoln (Lincoln, Neb.): Developing and applying new experimental and computational tools to understand dynamics of chemical reactions in organic materials.
- University of Nebraska Omaha (Omaha, Neb.): Developing new magnetic and superconducting materials for potential applications in energy storage and conversion, data storage, and medical imaging.
- University of Nevada, Reno (Reno, Nev.): Developing understanding to build stable controllable spin systems for quantum information sciences and quantum computing.
- University of New Hampshire (Durham, N.H.): Developing models for marine atmosphere boundary layers to address atmospheric turbulence and impact on wind turbine performance.
- University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, N.M.): Understanding the impacts of changing headwater stream networks on surface water quality, habitats and ecosystem response.
- University of Rhode Island (Kingston, R.I.): Building and testing response systems to protect floating wind turbines and maximize power production during difficult weather conditions.
- University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, Miss.): Developing a high‐throughput approach for the development of polymeric membranes, leveraging machine learning, autonomous synthesis, and neutron and synchrotron characterization.
- University of Wyoming (Laramie, Wyo.): Addressing and reducing uncertainty across scales in global climate change models.
- West Virginia University Research Corp. (Morgantown, W.V.): Characterizing ionized gases or plasmas whose applications range from understanding solar flares, to advanced rocket propulsion, to building fusion power systems.
Projects were chosen based on competitive peer review under a DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement for EPSCoR Implementation Grants. The DOE EPSCoR program is managed by the Department’s Office of Science through its Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES). Projects announced today are selections for negotiation of financial award.
Planned funding will total approximately $33 million in Fiscal Year 2023 dollars for two-year projects. A list of projects can be found on the BES homepage.