DOE ARPA-E funds two projects at UT, Tai Yang Research

Two Knoxville-based entities – the University of Tennessee (UT) and Tai Yang Research Company – have been selected to receive about $2.6 million from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) latest competition.

Details about the projects were somewhat limited in the DOE press release issued Wednesday. The UT project, estimated at slightly more than $440,000, was focused on developing “a technology that enables high throughput bioengineering and trait testing in switchgrass. This development will significantly reduce the time required to engineer switchgrass to maximize biofuel production.”

Tai Yang would receive about $2.15 million to “develop a grid-scale device that stores energy in a high-power, superconducting cable. This innovative cable enables an increase in magnetic field strength by optimizing cable design when connected to a power source. This approach would enable higher power storage densities that decrease cost and overall size of the system.”

The DOE press release noted that “Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced 66 cutting-edge research projects selected by the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) to receive a total of $130 million in funding through its “OPEN 2012” program. ARPA-E seeks out transformational, breakthrough technologies that show fundamental technical promise but are too early for private-sector investment. These projects have the potential to produce game-changing breakthroughs in energy technology, form the foundation for entirely new industries, and have large commercial impacts. The selected projects encompass 11 technology areas in 24 states, and support the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above approach to solving our nation’s most pressing energy challenges.”

The full release and list of projects can be found at


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