The U.S. Department of Energy will award US$12,608,524 in competitive grants for 138 energy efficiency and Renewable Energy projects, through the agency’s State Energy Program as Special Projects grants. The funds will go toward projects throughout the country, including 47 states and 3 U.S. territories.Washington, D.C. – July 17, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The Special Projects grants are funded by and awarded to specific technology areas within the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. For example, 26 grant awardees are part of the Rebuild America program, which has formed more than 450 voluntary community partnerships nationwide to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings. Five grants are directed to projects for the Building America program, which is developing the techniques needed to construct high-quality energy-efficient homes, and six grants are supporting the Federal Energy Management Program, which aims to reduce energy use in federal buildings. Twenty-five grants will advance energy efficiency in industry as part of the Industries of the Future program. The remaining 76 projects involve a wide variety of technologies that relate to power generation or ways to reduce electrical use. These technologies include biopower (seven projects), geothermal energy (four projects), and wind power (13 projects), as well as two types of projects relating to solar energy: 12 projects for the Million Solar Roofs Initiative and five solar school demonstrations. Nine projects will advance hydrogen and fuel cells by testing the ability of a hydrogen generation system to fuel buses and other vehicles, examining the production of hydrogen in “Power Parks” located in remote areas, and testing the use of hydrogen fuel cells as uninterruptible power sources. Sixteen projects will aim to accelerate the installation of distributed generation systems, including some projects that support utility restructuring activities, and one project will help teach people how to connect those systems to the utility power grid. Five projects will aim to help out the U.S. power grid by examining the benefits of energy storage to supplement transmission systems and installing technologies that use high-temperature superconductors. The final four projects will combine many of these technologies to design and build “zero energy” homes that are energy self-sufficient.