PNNL to Provide Technology Assistance to Small Clean Energy Firms

July 13, 2015 By Karen Henry

PNNL liquid handling robot Energy ManagePacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has been tapped as one of five national laboratories to lead the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) new Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot. SBV will help small clean energy firms get technology assistance from scientists, engineers and facilities within the DOE national laboratory system.

PNNL was selected to support small businesses in three clean energy sectors: bioenergy, water power and buildings. Oak Ridge, Lawrence BerkeleySandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory were also selected as lead labs in the pilot program. Assistance will also be provided through the pilot to small businesses in other clean energy areas, including advanced manufacturing, solar, wind, geothermal, vehicles and fuel cells.

PNNL will receive about $2.7 million of the $20 million DOE is investing in the pilot. The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Small Business Voucher Pilot is part of EERE’s Lab Impact Initiative, which aims to significantly increase the industrial impact of national laboratories on the US clean energy sector.

Starting this fall, companies with fewer than 500 employees will be able to apply for $50,000 to $300,000 in vouchers that can be used for a variety of technology assistance from PNNL and other DOE labs.

PNNL’s scientific and engineering expertise will be made available through the Tech on Call service being developed for the SBV pilot.

PNNL is teaming with six partner organizations to maximize the impact of outreach efforts: Clean Energy Trust of Chicago, New England Clean Energy Council of Boston, CleanTech Alliance Washington of Seattle, CleanTech of San Diego, SSTI of Westerville, Ohio, and CleanTech Open of Redwood City, California.

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