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The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) has awarded a total of $130 million in funding to 66 energy research projects.

Although the selected projects encompass various technology areas, including advanced fuels, advanced vehicle design and materials, building efficiency, renewable power and carbon capture, the funding also awarded millions of dollars to projects related to grid modernization.

Such noteworthy projects include the following:

- The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will receive $1.5 million to develop grid modeling, monitoring and analysis tools that increase the resiliency and reliability of the grid during cyber attacks. Electrical infrastructure modeling will be combined with cyber analysis to examine the impact of failures and malicious threats to grid infrastructure. These tools and analysis could lead to higher reliability, improved efficiency and facilitate renewable technology deployment.

- Niskayuna, N.Y.-based GE Global Research will receive over $4 million to develop a new electrical power switching technology for high-voltage transmission lines. Currently, electricity is routed using silicon-based switches that require multiple devices to function at high voltages. GE will develop a robust, gas-based switch that could reduce the cost of transmission infrastructure, improve grid reliability and facilitate renewable technology deployment.

- Lapeer, M.I.-based Grid Logic will receive $3.8 million to develop a low-cost and innovative superconducting wire for electric utility applications. Using a new manufacturing technique, Grid Logic will embed very fine superconducting particles in a combination of metals to induce superconductivity. Such a wire would reduce the cost of transmission lines, motors for wind turbines and other electric devices.

- Morrisville, N.C.-based Hexatech Inc. received $2.2 million to develop new switches to more efficiently control the flow of electricity across high-voltage electrical lines. The technology will use a new material that exceeds the performance of currently used materials, enabling smaller, more reliable devices.

A full list of the ARPA-E funding recipients can be found here.


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