Two Tri-City companies got $3.7 million in grants from the Department of Energy to help them commercialize their technologies, DOE announced this week.
Richland's InnovaTek received $2.2 million for its project to generate power from an integrated biomass reformer and solid oxide fuel cell, and Kennewick's Infinia Corp. received $1.5 million to fine-tune its technology for a high-efficiency, maintenance-free cryocooler to support high temperature superconductor power lines.
Both the projects were among the 33 funded nationwide by DOE as part of its Small Business Phase III Xlerator program to support clean energy and create jobs.
They were chosen from among companies that previously had received Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer funding.
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Awards ranged from $500,000 to $3 million and are expected to help small innovative companies to develop the processes necessary for reducing their manufacturing costs as they bring their technologies to the market.
A total of $57 million was given out by DOE.
Infinia's technology will help prevent transmission losses and keep the high temperature super conducting power lines operating, said J.D. Sitton, president and CEO of Infinia.
Earlier this year, Infinia got another grant from DOE to develop a large-scale thermal energy storage system.
Infinia's also may get $3.5 million that Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., has included in the Fiscal Year 2011 Defense Appropriations bill to help the company further develop its 2-kilowatt Stirling Tactical Cogeneration System.
The system is expected to improve conditions in the field for troops and allow them to generate hot water and electricity reliably, efficiently and quietly. It also would use waste heat for several other applications including heating, cooling, dehumidifying, water desalination and purification.
The bill passed through the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday, and will move to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration.