Research, Development and Demonstration Program (RD&D) - Clean Energy Fund


The Research Development and Demonstration program supports projects that engage in strategic research and development for new and emerging clean energy technologies that will help achieve state, national and international climate goals. Grants will be used to match federal or other non-state funds.

RD&D Contingent Awardees

Commerce announces latest round of state investments in new and novel clean energy technology projects powered by diverse public-private partnerships

Competitive process identifies 10 proposed research, development and demonstration projects to receive $8.5 million in Clean Energy Fund grants

  • BattGenie – $300,000 to repurpose and deploy retired electric bus batteries for second-life applications that will improve electric grid resiliency. The project will deploy a battery energy storage system on a site specified by Two Rivers CDC for backup power supply and storage.
  • City of Yakima – $1 million to conduct a feasibility study on the research and development of new anaerobic digestion capacity for processing food waste. The city will partner with a non-profit and/or university to conduct and coordinate research, investigations, training, surveys and public education programs related to planning for anaerobic digester operations for waste management in Yakima County.
  • Composite Recycling Technology Center – $647,250 to develop technologies to take recycled wind-turbine blade materials and combine them with current recycling of composite materials from aircraft manufacturing. The project will focus on enabling technologies for applications in building systems, cladding and interiors to displace steel, concrete, and aluminum architectural materials, as well as for a carbon fiber marine cable product to keep plastic out of the water and prevent marine mammal entanglement in aquaculture applications.
  • Darrington Wood Innovation Center – $1.5 million for demonstration of an advanced boiler system that uses wet, low-grade wood biomass. It will be the first of its kind globally to address moisture conditions present in Washington state, and will demonstrate forest management practices to maximize low-value biomass for cross laminated timber manufacturing and bioenergy feedstock.
  • Group 14 – $426,858 for demonstration of a silicon polymer solid state battery. New battery technologies are critical to the electrification of key sectors, and the proposed next generation silicon polymer solid state battery will increase energy density, while retaining the longevity and stability seen in traditional lithium-ion batteries.
  • McKinstry Essention – $755,000 for demonstration of a novel EcoDistrict configuration and associated control strategies to generate 160-degree heating water supply using commercially available air-water and water-water heat pumps on the Seattle Central College campus, with future expansion potential to serve neighboring buildings. The project will efficiently convert aging buildings to electric heat pumps without removing existing hot water coils or HVAC systems, reducing costs and contributing to Washington’s nation-leading building decarbonization goals.
  • Modern Electron – $769,360 for demonstration of a pyrolysis technology to convert methane in biogas to hydrogen and a solid carbon. Pyrolysis is an emerging method for producing low-emissions hydrogen from biogas, achieving net negative greenhouse gas emissions from biogas combustion and producing solid carbon that can be used as a soil amendment and for a variety of products made with carbon black additive. Modern Electron will partner with Qualco Energy, a subsidiary of Tulalip Tribe to use their current anaerobic digester, which will contribute to advancing energy independence for the Tribe.
  • OCOchem Inc. – $1.5 million to develop green portable energy generators and fuels for use at the Port of Tacoma. The project will demonstrate how recycled carbon dioxide, water and clean electricity can be converted into hydrogen fuel in a liquid form that is easier, cheaper and safer to store and transport. This green energy can be used to replace the diesel-powered generators that keep refrigerated cargo containers cool while waiting to leave the port, which also benefits the surrounding community by reducing carbon emissions, airborne particulate and noise. Other statewide and global partners in the project, which has an additional $2.5 million from other investors, include Washington Maritime Blue, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Sacre-Davey Engineering, Johnston Engineering, and Det Norske Veritas.
  • Spokane Indian Housing Authority – $884,245 for research and development of a novel application of an emergency response alert system and controls for an electricity microgrid serving the Tribe’s critical facilities. The project will advance knowledge on how to strengthen energy Tribal energy independence and resilience, in addition to providing workforce training opportunities in installation and maintenance of microgrid technologies.
  • XFlow Energy Company – $772,000 for development and demonstration of efficient manufacturing to minimize the levelized cost of electricity from XFlow’s 25 kW vertical axis wind turbine. This will potentially cut the lifetime cost of distributed wind generation in half compared to currently available technology, reducing electricity costs for the end user. By lowering costs, this technology would make distributed wind energy an attractive option for improving community energy resilience.

All of these competitive grant awards are conditional upon execution of final project agreements and performance-based contracts with Commerce.

CEF and RD&D Background

Continued funding supports continuous innovation. Since its inception in 2013, the Clean Energy Fund has included funding for strategic clean energy RD&D. The RD&D fund was initially called the Federal Match program and it focused on supporting Washington research institutions competing for federal funds to develop or demonstrate clean energy technologies that had not reached full commercial viability. The program transformed into the Research Development and Demonstration grant, with an expanded scope of eligible activities and eligible applicants. This round of funding has been designed to include an even greater diversity of projects and applicants. Recent awardees from CEF2 and CEF3 span a variety of technologies.*

  • Beta Hatch – $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.
  • Corumat – $2,344,500 for the development of bio-derived plastics for the food industry.
  • Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC)  – $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.
  • Oscilla Power – $555,737 to advance their Triton wave energy converter technology in order to capture energy from ocean waves at the lowest levelized cost of electricity possible.
  • Sironex Renewables – $234,450 to develop new, high-performance ingredients for cleaning products using natural oils and agricultural waste instead of petroleum.
  • Spokane Eco – $515,790 for developing machine-learning-based control methods to optimize building and equipment control systems in a building complex.
  • University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory – $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 – $1,125,360 to make composites manufacturing economically viable by ensuring high part quality, lowering energy costs and minimizing waste and scrap.
  • Microsoft – $675,000 for fuel cells in data center environment.
  • Dresser-Rand, a Siemens Business – $870,572 to develop, demonstrate, fabricate and assemble a Pneumatic Ocean Wave Test Facility to test HydroAir™, a variable radius turbine system that generates electric power from ocean waves.

*This list is not exhaustive.

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