Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NY Energy Frontier Research Centers

It has been nearly a year since The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) named five New York institutions Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC), awarding each DOE grants between $2 and $5 million per year for a planned initial five year period. New York’s five centers were the second most awarded to any state, in large part due to the State's commitment of a 10 percent state match in funding and work to position New York as a national leader in clean energy technology research and development.

Over that time, the EFRCs have brought leading scientists to address fundamental issues in fields ranging from solar energy and energy storage to materials sciences and superconductors. New York facilities were among 46 chosen nationwide, and include SUNY Stony Brook, Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, Columbia University, Cornell University, and General Electric Global Research in Schenectady.

To secure the EFRC federal grants, Governor Paterson and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provided letters of support and provided matching state grants to the projects at a ratio of one state dollar for every 10 federal dollars. Additionally, NYSERDA provided a $250,000 grant to each academic center.

The awards wereas follows (with the total five-year commitment):
  • Columbia University: $16 million; $1.6 million state match; $250,000 NYSERDA grant
  • Cornell University: $25 million; $2.5 million state match ; $250,000 NYSERDA grant
  • General Electric Global Research: $15 million; $1.5 million state match
  • State University of New York, Stony Brook: $17 million; $1.7 million state match; $250,000 NYSERDA grant
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory: $25 million requested; $2.5 million state match; $250,00 NYSERDA grant
Significantly, three of the five awards in New York State are for energy storage technology research, complementing the Governor’s Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (known as NY BEST). There were only six centers nationally that will focus on energy storage, and New York State is home to half of them.

NY BEST has made great strides to implement an impressive “battery consortium,”committing $25 million to this effort, which will support research to advance the commercialization of battery and energy storage technologies within the State. At the same time, General Electric (GE) Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt announced GE’s plan to establish a new sodium battery manufacturing facility in New York that will create 350 new jobs.

A year later, and impressive progress.  Read more about it, and sign up for updates here.