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US-Israel gov’ts invest in US$12m of solar, storage, microgrids and efficiency innovations

Zinc-bromine flow battery maker Primus Power is among the awardees. Image: Primus Power.

BIRD Energy, a foundation jointly created by the US Department of Energy (DoE) and Israel’s Ministry of Energy (MoE) will invest around half the amount required to fund US$12 million of solar, storage, energy efficiency and microgrid projects in Israel.

Part of the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) which seeks to accelerate growth through strategic partnerships between US and Israeli entities, BIRD Energy focuses on renewable and clean energy efficiency industries’ R&D.

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Projects eligible for support must include R&D cooperation between two companies, or between an academic or research institution and with a company. In either case, one party in each partnership should be from the US and the other Israel.

BIRD Energy announced today that the US DoE and Israel’s MoE together with the Israel Innovation Authority selected seven projects which will receive US$6 million of support under the scheme. BIRD has funded 43 projects, investing around US$34 million since its inception in 2009, including the seven latest announcements.

The seven approved projects:

The seven announced projects are as follows:

Beam Semiconductors (Israel) + BannerSolar (US): developing a 60Hz 'active phased array' module for wireless applications with Gigabit potential, applicable to autonomous solar-and-storage power supply.

Brightmerge (Israel) + Introspective Systems (US): dynamic grid pricing with edge load responsive device control.

mPrest Systems (Israel) + Southern Company (US): distribution grid-integrated primary and secondary VAR voltage control and conservative voltage reduction.

OneOPI (Israel) + Presidio (US): intelligent microgrid automated simulation system and service(s)

RazorLabs (Israel) + Exacter, Inc. (US): grid resiliency system based on artificial intelligence

Technion Research & Development Foundation Ltd. (Israel) + Primus Power (US): high energy density grid-scale battery

“The Department of Energy continues its strong support for collaborative research with Israel through the BIRD Energy programme,” US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said.

“We feel very privileged to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our binational program with the DOE.  The BIRD Energy program is undoubtedly a success story of cooperation based on the strategic vision of the two economies,” Israeli Minister of Energy Dr Yuval Steinberg.

Projects must be innovative and offer potential benefit to both countries. As with the seven projects announced to be awarded with funding assistance today, qualified participants must meet at least half of the project costs themselves and commit to repayments if their technologies become commercially successful.

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