BIRD Energy to invest $7.15 million in US-Israel projects
The U.S. Department of Energy and Israel's Ministry of Energy, along with the Israel Innovation Authority, have selected eight clean energy projects to receive $7.15 million under the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program. The total value of the projects is $17.4 million, which includes $10.25 million in cost share from the companies selected for funding.
BIRD Energy began in 2009 as a result of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Since then, including the projects announced today, BIRD Energy has funded 55 projects with a total government investment of approximately $42 million in addition to approximately $55 million in funds matched by the private sector.
Each project is conducted by a U.S. and an Israeli partner. Selected projects address energy challenges and opportunities that are of interest to both countries and focus on commercializing clean energy technologies that improve economic competitiveness, create jobs and support innovative technologies and companies.
Aharon Aharon, CEO, Israel Innovation Authority, said: "Promoting innovation in the field of energy is a joint goal of Israel and the US. We are therefore pleased to see the high level of engagement by industries in both countries. We wish success to the approved projects and look forward to the technological advancements they will make."
Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said: "The BIRD Energy program is a magnet that attracts companies interested in joint U.S.-Israel innovation with each company playing a synergistic role aimed at achieving and commercializing technological breakthroughs. Despite the significant hurdles posed by COVID-19, companies succeeded in submitting high quality collaborative proposals."
The eight approved projects are:
- Addionics IL Ltd. (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics, Inc. (Northboro, MA) will develop high-power, high-capacity solid-state batteries with novel electrode components.
- ECOncrete Tech Ltd. (Tel Aviv, Israel) and LafargeHolcim (US) Inc. (Chicago, IL) will develop an eco-engineered concrete product for structurally sound scour protection and ecological uplift of offshore wind energy infrastructure.
- Eviation Tech Ltd. (Kadima, Israel) and AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. (Plymouth, MI) will develop electric aircraft battery.
- POCellTech Ltd. (Caesarea, Israel)) and W7energy LLC (Wilmington, DE) will develop a low-cost fuel cell system based on hydroxide exchange membranes.
- StoreDot Ltd. (Herzliya, Israel) and Nanoramic Laboratories (Boston, MA) will develop an ultra-fast charging power bank for mobile devices.
- Tadiran Batteries Ltd. (Kiryat Ekron, Israel) and Hit Nano Inc. (Bordentown, NJ) will develop silicon anode, nickel rich cathode, high-energy high-safety AA Li-Ion Cell for industrial internet of things applications (IOT).
- TurboGen (Ramat Gan, Israel) and En-Power Group (White Plains, NY) will develop next generation, heat and power solutions.
- VisIC Technologies Ltd. (Nes Ziona, Israel) and Vepco Technologies (Chino, CA) will develop an 80kW Gallium Nitride (GaN) based dual motor drive power inverter for both plug-in and battery electric vehicles.
Projects that qualify for BIRD Energy funding must include one U.S. and one Israeli company, or a company from one of the countries paired with a university or research institution from the other. The partners must present a project that involves innovation in the area of energy and is of mutual interest to both countries.
Qualified projects must contribute at least 50 percent to project costs and commit to repayments if the project leads to commercial success. A wind farm on Israel's Mount Gilboa is pictured.
bp buys 9GW of solar projects from 7X Energy for $220m
bp will pay 7X Energy $220 million for the projects and 1GW of 'safe harbour' equipment and expects the acquisition to complete in 30 days. The projects, spread across 12 states - with the largest portfolios in Texas (ERCOT) and MidWest (PJM) - are expected to meet bp’s low carbon investment criteria, generating returns of at least 8-10%.
Assets with a combined generating capacity of 2.2GW are expected to reach final investment decision (FID) by 2025, with the remaining progressing by 2030. Once developed, these projects will have the capacity to generate enough clean energy to power around 1.7 million US homes. The development is also expected to support thousands of jobs through construction.
The acquisition represents a significant step towards bp’s target of growing its net developed renewable generating capacity to 20GW by 2025 and aim to increase this to 50GW by 2030.
The deal will also grow bp’s renewables pipeline from 14GW to 23GW. The assets will be developed through bp’s 50-50 solar joint venture Lightsource bp, which will apply its capabilities to accelerate bp’s renewables targets.
Dev Sanyal, bp executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy, said: "With this purchase, we are continuing to put our strategy in action as we grow our renewables business in a deliberate and disciplined way. It brings us 9GW of high-quality solar projects in markets where we can create integrated renewable energy offers through our trading and customer franchises."
More than half of new US utility-scale solar PV capacity is planned for four states this year, with Texas comfortably the largest (28%), followed by Nevada (9%), California (9%), and North Carolina (7%), according to the US Energy Information Administration. Solar will account for 39% of all new US electricity generation capacity in 2021, surpassing wind for the first time, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com.