WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that Battelle Memorial Institute has been awarded research and development resources from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct research that will help identify ways to drive down production costs of manufacturing. Battelle will provide cost assessments for fuel cell applications used in forklifts, combined heat and power systems, and other energy sources used in manufacturing. The five-year project is expected to generate new cost estimates for manufacturing equipment, labor, energy, and raw materials that will eventually help improve efficiency in advanced manufacturing.
“In Ohio, we know how to make things. Manufacturing is as important as ever to our state’s economic recovery,” Brown said. “Battelle’s research will help maximize cost-effectiveness for manufacturers in Ohio and across the country, helping to provide research and development for businesses that create 21st-century jobs.”
The DOE will provide up to $2 million in research and development resources for Battelle. According to DOE, the project will also provide cost analyses of large-scale fuel cell applications ranging from 100 to 250 kW, such as auxiliary power, primary power, and large-scale combined heat and power systems. The analyses conducted under this project will provide a better understanding of performance, design and manufacturing options, and life-cycle costs, which will help optimize fuel cell designs, manufacturing methods, and target applications.
Ohio is one of three selected states awarded the funding to participate in this research. The other projects are in Virginia and California.
Brown has introduced a package of key legislative proposals aimed at bolstering the competiveness of U.S. manufacturers. He is the author of the Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act, legislation that would help small- to medium-sized manufacturers become more energy-efficient or transition to the clean energy supply chain. Brown is also a coauthor of the Security in Energy and Manufacturing (SEAM) Act, legislation that would expand and improve the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit (48C) program.
Brown is working with the Obama Administration on the creation of a national manufacturing policy and has outlined five key areas of focus to invest in the manufacturing industry:
- Creating a business climate, through tax and health care policies, favorable to investment in manufacturing;
- Investing in the manufacturing capacity for national priorities such as clean energy and critical military equipment;
- Strengthening our component supply chains through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP);
- Matching dislocated workers with emerging industries through sector-based workforce training strategies;
- Making the research and development tax credit permanent to lend predictability to this crucial incentive for manufacturing innovation;
- Promoting exports and defending against unfair trade.