Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy Team up with San Antonio and UTSA for Green Tech Advancement – Travel And Tour World

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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), in collaboration with the City of San Antonio Aviation Department, City Public Service Board (CPS Energy), and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), formally agreed to join forces in advancing various technology initiatives. These initiatives encompass sustainable aviation, battery technologies, innovative battery storage solutions, improved electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, and power demand management technologies.

This landmark agreement signifies the first collaboration between an international airport and ARPA-E, the DOE’s innovation arm, aimed at expediting the development and implementation of new energy technologies to mitigate carbon emissions within the aviation sector.

The signing ceremony, held at Stinson Municipal Airport in San Antonio, was attended by ARPA-E Director Evelyn Wang, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, UTSA President Dr. Taylor Eighmy, and CPS Energy Vice President of Customer Value Karma Nilsson.

“We are excited at this opportunity to collaborate and showcase innovative energy technologies that could transform the future of aviation,” said ARPA-E Director Evelyn N. Wang. “Today’s MOU signing is a step in the right direction to ensuring that these innovative technologies are developed, built, and integrated in America. Our hope is that this partnership will lay the groundwork to enable future electrified airports.”

“We are proud to be a part of this innovative initiative that will ultimately benefit the San Antonio community,” said Rudy D. Garza, President and CEO of CPS Energy. “CPS Energy continues to look for ways to participate in electrification projects, especially for critical public infrastructure like the San Antonio International Airport. Projects like these furthers our commitment to finding new and sustainable technologies to enable our growing community and we are excited about the opportunity to work with our community partners to do so.”

“This is an important agreement with the potential to shape the aviation industry of the future,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “Researching the decarbonization of aviation and finding new sustainable energy models is important work, and I am proud San Antonio will be playing a leading role in this cutting-edge research.”

“This is a unique partnership designed to promote transformative energy technologies and it propels the City of San Antonio’s Aviation Department to the center of innovation,” said Jesus Saenz, Director of Airports, City of San Antonio Aviation Department. “This is an exciting time to be part of the Aviation Team and planning for the future of aviation and our airports.”

“This collaborative effort is an incredible opportunity for UTSA to partner with strategic industry leaders in evaluating electric aircraft, advanced energy storage and micro-grid systems to advance the adoption of sustainable multi-modal transportation technologies,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “Together, this collective will accelerate discoveries that will positively impact the local and regional economies while advancing technologies that change the world.”

To commemorate this historic achievement, the ARPA-E-funded project teams listed below were also in attendance to exhibit their technologies and elucidate how their innovations could be seamlessly integrated into future electrified airports:

  • Ampaire, pioneering sustainable air travel and eco-friendly transportation solutions, showcased its state-of-the-art hybrid electric EEL aircraft, and a video demonstration of the aircraft can be viewed here.
  • Imagen Energy presented ultrafast, compact electric vehicle chargers delivering efficient and cost-effective power solutions.
  • Natron Energy highlighted sodium-ion batteries capable of safely storing energy and efficiently delivering power on demand.
  • AutoGrid discussed a distributed energy resource management system designed to assist grid operators in managing energy supply and demand fluctuations.
  • Quidnet Energy showcased a modular geomechanical pumped storage system using existing natural resources to store renewable energy over extended durations, illustrated by a wellhead.
  • Texas A&M University Research Team displayed 3D-printed motor models and shared concepts for enhancing efficiency in electric transportation.

Additionally, UTSA and CPS Energy shared their research endeavors aimed at leveraging a city-scale grid digital twin. This initiative aims to evaluate operational efficacy, ensure seamless interoperability, fortify cybersecurity protocols, and assess performance metrics of electric/hybrid aircraft.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed today will facilitate collaboration to identify research, development, demonstration, and deployment opportunities that promote sustainable aviation technologies.

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