DOE VTO awarding $3.6M to 6 projects to commercialize lab-developed clean transportation technologies
Horizon Robotics partners with Aptiv and Wind River to advance development of automated driving in China

DOE renews funding for PowerAmerica Institute; next-gen WBG semiconductors for power electronics

The US Department of Energy (DOE)’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) renewed funding for PowerAmerica, DOE’s first Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

PowerAmerica will receive an initial $8 million, with potential funding across four more fiscal years to follow, to continue advancing domestic manufacturing of next-generation WBG semiconductors for power electronics to aid economy-wide decarbonization and electrification.

Silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) WBG semiconductor technology makes power electronic modules significantly more powerful and energy-efficient than those made from conventional semiconductor materials, namely silicon. These high-performance power electronics can increase electric vehicle driving range; help integrate renewable energy into the electric grid; and lead to significant energy savings.

Raleigh-based PowerAmerica commercialized more than 10 WBG technologies over five years. To date, 40% of PowerAmerica’s 60 projects have reached or are set to reach commercial status.


Source: PowerAmerica

Not only is PowerAmerica innovating semiconductors that surpass operational limitations of traditional silicon-based designs, but it also focuses on training the future workforce of America’s manufacturing sector through its strong education and workforce development (EWD) program.

Since launching in 2014, PowerAmerica has trained more than 400 masters and PhD students, 300 short course attendees, 1,800 tutorial participants, and 9,000 K-12 students in STEM programs, including 2,000 participants of hands-on trainings. These numbers are particularly important in addressing the acute workforce shortage the power electronics industry faces, and scaling up PowerAmerica’s existing EWD program is a proposed focus of the new federal funding.

This federal funding builds upon initial federal funding of $70 million, in addition to $81 million in cost share from its member partners, for a total of $151 million.

PowerAmerica is one of seven Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institutes supported by two of DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program offices: the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) and Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO). In addition, PowerAmerica is one of the 16 member institutes of Manufacturing USA, a national network of manufacturing innovation institutes created to secure US global leadership in advanced manufacturing through large-scale public-private collaboration on technology, supply chain, and education and workforce development.


The comments to this entry are closed.