The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the award of $3.3 million in grants for four U.S.-Israel cooperative clean energy projects. The projects were selected by the BIRD Foundation and will be funded by the DOE and Israel's Ministry of National Infrastructures.
The four projects will leverage private sector cost-share for a total project value of $11.6 million:
HelioFocus Ltd., based in Ness Ziona, Israel and Capstone Turbine Corporation, based in Chatsworth, California have been selected for an award of up to $800,000. HelioFocus and Capstone Turbine will develop and commercialize a micro-turbine to produce electric power from concentrated solar energy. This project includes $2.1 million in private sector cost-share. IC Green Energy invested in HelioFocus last year, and this blog reported on HelioFocus' cooperation with Capstone Turbine back in August 2008.
Motorola Israel Ltd., based in Tel Aviv, Israel and SmartSynch, Inc., based in Jackson, Mississippi have been selected for an award of up to $900,000. Motorola Israel and SmartSynch will collaborate in the development and commercialization of a platform to enable implementation of a Smart Grid energy management system. This project will integrate Home Area Network and Smart Grid network management software applications to give utilities greater control while allowing end-users the ability to monitor and control consumption. This project includes $2.8 million in private sector cost-share.
Tigo Energy, based in Kfar Saba, Israel and U.S. Architectural Glass and Aluminum Co., Inc., based in Alameda, California have been selected for an award of up to $900,000. This project will support the development and integration of a complete Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) system. The partnership will seek to overcome the cost, standardization, generation performance, visibility, and safety challenges that currently hinder large scale adoption of BIPV. This project includes $2.3 million in private sector cost-share. Earlier this year, Tigo Energy announced a $10 million Series B financing from Israel Cleantech Ventures, Matrix Partners, OVP and Clal Energy.
TransBiodiesel Ltd., based in Shfar-Am, Israel and The Purolite Company, based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania have been selected for an award of up to $700,000. This project seeks to design a biocatalyst comprised of methanol-resistant lipase immobilized on a cost-effective resin for the production of biodiesel at commercial scales. Lipase biocatalysts offer significant advantages over traditional catalysts used for biodiesel production including lifecycle efficiency gains and consistent product quality, but are currently high-cost and suffer from short operation life-time as they are degraded during the biodiesel production process. This project includes $1.2 million in private sector cost-share. This is TransBiodiesel's second BIRD Foundation grant -- in 2008, it was awarded a grant to partner with Rohm & Hass on biodiesel production.
The projects are expected to begin in 2010.
The BIRD Foundation promotes cooperation between Israeli and U.S. companies in various technology areas and assists in identifying strategic partners in both countries, in order to develop and commercialize novel technologies and products.
The BIRD Foundation supports projects without receiving any rights in the participating companies or in the project itself. The financial assistance is repaid as royalties from sales. The Foundation provides support of up to 50% of a project's budget, beginning with R&D and ending with the initial stages of sales and marketing. The Foundation shares the risk and does not demand that the investment be repaid if the project fails to reach the sales stage.