The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources (MIEW) have selected six projects to receive $5.1 million under the 2015 Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program. Each project is conducted by a U.S. and an Israeli partner. Selected projects address energy challenges and opportunities of interest to both countries, while focusing on commercializing clean energy technologies that improve economic competitiveness, create jobs, and support innovative companies. The selected projects will leverage private sector cost-share for a total project value of $11.3 million. This is the seventh round of funding for the BIRD Energy program which has approved 28 projects with a total investment of about $22 million (including the projects in the current annual cycle).
U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz stated in an announcement published by the DOE: “Renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements are essential to shaping our clean energy future. This partnership with Israel makes possible collaborative investments that move us closer to rigorous technology breakthroughs. These advancements are a key part of modernizing our energy infrastructure, enhancing our energy security, and mitigating the risks of global climate change.”
Dr. Yuval Steinitz, Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources said “The BIRD Energy program is undoubtedly a success story of cooperation based on the strategic vision of the two economies, while also promoting partnerships among the most innovative capabilities, generating significant value and benefit to both countries. This success is a result of a true commitment by both governments which will work to expand the scope of the program to include additional areas of interest, such as natural gas technologies and cyber security of energy infrastructure. This year, several projects were selected in areas such as: renewable energy, energy efficiency and water energy nexus. We wish the new partnerships and the ongoing projects success in achieving their objectives.”
“BIRD Energy has demonstrated significant added value and mutual benefit, supporting innovation on renewable energy and energy efficiency in both countries and providing critical funding for the success of the companies and their partnerships.” said Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of BIRD.
The six approved projects are:
- 3GSOLAR Photovoltaics Ltd (Jerusalem, Israel) and Arkema Inc. (King of Prussia, PA), will develop thin and flexible printed solar photovoltaics for wireless electronics.
- Ayyeka Technologies, Ltd. (Jerusalem, Israel) and UIS Holdings, Inc. (Dexter, MI), will develop smart grid to distribution enclosures: out-of-the box remote metering, efficiency analytics and performance enhancement.
- Haogenplast Ltd. (Kibbutz Haogen, Israel) and Global Solar Energy, Inc. (Tucson, AZ), will develop solar energy production over water reservoirs.
- Pentalum Technologies Ltd. (Rehovot, Israel) and Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX), will collaborate on the development of a light detection and ranging ( LiDAR) based wind farm controller and optimizer.
- Solaris-Synergy (Israel) Ltd. (Jerusalem, Israel) and Pristine Sun LLC (San Francisco, CA), will collaborate on a utility scale, low-cost floating photovoltaic solar energy system for deployment on water.
- Yissum – The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Israel) and Applied Biomathematics, Inc. (Setauket, NY), will collaborate on technology to protect birds and bats near wind energy facilities.
The BIRD Energy program began in 2009 as a result of the U.S. – Israel Energy Cooperation Initiative included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and the Israeli Government approval of the program in 2008. The U.S.-Israel cooperation was enhanced and extended until 2024 by the Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in December 2014.
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 companies must present a project that involves innovation in the area of energy and is of mutual interest to both countries.
The BIRD Energy program has a rigorous review process that selects the most technologically meritorious projects along with those that are likely to commercialize and have significant impact. Qualified projects must contribute at least 50% to project costs and commit to repayments if the project leads to commercial success.