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Algae Awards Just Keep Coming: NREL, Michigan State the Latest to Gain DOE Support

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) each issued one additional algae research award this week bringing the total investment in algae by the DOE in 2017 thus far to 28 projects worth nearly $44 million — the strongest signal yet that ABO’s investment in education and advocacy is yielding strong returns for the algae sector.

On Friday, Michigan State University announced it has been awarded a $1 million grant from FE to explore algae-based technologies to capture power plant emissions and sustainably turn them into valuable products. This becomes the third algae carbon capture and use (CCU) project to be funded by FE following ABO’s successful effort in 2016 to increase CCU funding at FE to $10 million annually. 

On Tuesday, BETO announced up to $3.5 million has been awarded under the Algal Biomass Yield, Phase 2 (ABY2) funding program to a team led by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). The team also includes Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines, Arizona State University, Sandia National Laboratories, POS Bio-Sciences, Sapphire Energy, and Utah State University. DOE awarded $15 million for three  additional ABY2 projects in 2016. 

The latest awards are on top of the 18 awards totaling $22 million for macroalgae research issued this month by ARPA-E under the MARINER program; seven awards totaling over $16 million issued by BETO under the PEAK funding opportunity earlier this year; and $1 million FE grant to the University of Kentucky to continue their algae CCU pilot project with Duke Energy.

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