Commerce awards $2.3 million for clean energy research and development

Impact Bioenergy, Janicki Bioenergy, Oscilla Power, SuperCritical Technologies and Zunum Aero selected for latest round of Washington State Clean Energy Fund grants

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced five projects awarded matching grants from the state’s Clean Energy Fund to advance research and development in clean power technologies. They include innovative wave energy technology, a hybrid aircraft, bioenergy and small-scale electric power generation. The grants total just over $2.3 million, matched by another $33.2 million in non-state funding.

“Washington state is committed to bold leadership on ensuring a low-carbon future for our children and their children. We must continue to make wise, fruitful investments in technologies that create good-paying jobs while protecting our environment,” Gov. Jay Inslee said.

“As clean energy engages with our state’s other powerful industry sectors – aerospace, manufacturing, global health and information tech – Washington companies are poised to bring disruptive technologies to new customers all over the world,” Commerce director Brian Bonlender said. “These projects have potential to spur new business and economic growth that makes for strong, resilient communities.”

Impact Bioenergy ($550,000) of Auburn, WA, will implement systematic, community-scale food waste biocycling on Vashon Island, WA. The decentralized system will eliminate the need to ship out food waste materials and bring in amendments like compost and fertilizer. Food waste will be converted to energy for heat, power and alternative fuel vehicles, liquid organic fertilizer and sequestered CO2 used in agriculture and horticulture.

“In addition to an innovative product and passionate, talented people, now we have access to capital resources. Thanks to Governor Inslee and the Clean Energy Fund for that last ingredient, which rounds out our recipe to change the world,” said Impact Bioenergy CEO Jan Allen.

Janicki Bioenergy ($283, 158) of Sedro-Woolley, WA, will demonstrate their innovative vapor recompression distillation system that produces clean, potable water from dairy manure wastewater using thermal evaporation, steam compression, vapor recovery and water treatment. This grant will demonstrate the commercial viability of Janicki’s technology, which has the potential to provide global sanitation in places with no public water or sewer systems.

Oscilla Power ($1 million) based in Seattle, WA, will use grant funds to design, build and test a community-scale wave energy converter. The project will validate a cost-effective approach to unlock the untapped potential of ocean waves to generate massive amounts of renewable electricity around the world. Partners in the project are Glosten Associates, a Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm, and Janicki Industries, an advanced composite materials tooling and manufacturing firm based in Sedro-Wooley.

“Washington state’s Clean Energy Fund provides crucial financial support for projects like ours. Together, we’re playing a leading role in advancing marine energy research and development to benefit communities here and around the world,” said Oscilla Power CEO Rahul Shendure.

SuperCritical Technologies, Inc. (SCTI) ($283,158) of Bremerton, WA, is developing ways to use supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) instead of steam to generate electricity. They are investigating use of CO2 hydrodynamic bearings and related technologies such as tiny turbines and lubricants, to develop compact power plants. Modular units the size of shipping containers could generate electricity at the point of consumption, such as converting waste heat to power operations at an industrial facility, for example.

Zunum Aero ($800,000) of Kirkland, WA, will develop the first commercial-class hybrid aircraft. Partners in this grant proposal include the Clean Energy Institute at the University of Washington, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the Grainger Center for Electrical Machinery and Electromechanics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

“We are excited that the Washington Clean Energy Fund is joining Boeing HorizonX and JetBlue Technology Ventures to support our development of breakthrough hybrid-electric aircraft for the early 2020s. This support will extend Washington leadership to a new era of aviation, and pave the way to green, quiet skies. Our hybrid aircraft will also benefit all of us across the state, offering door-to-door travel 2 to 4 times faster than today, and affordable service to many of the 64 federally supported airports in Washington,” said Zunum Aero CEO Ashish Kumar.

This is the third round of grants awarded for clean energy research and development since the Washington State Clean Energy Fund was established in 2013. The fund also invests in revolving loan funds for commercial and residential energy efficiency, public and private utility electric grid modernization, and loan programs for solar and renewable energy manufacturing facilities. Last year, the Legislature approved over $100 million in capital budget funds to invest in clean energy and energy efficiency. It included $40 million for the state’s Clean Energy Fund. Learn more at www.commerce.wa.gov/CEF.

Contact:

Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, 206-256-6106

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