🔋 BATTERIES: Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory employed an artificial intelligence technique called active learning to help speed up the identification of molecules called redoxmers that are ideal for use as a sustainable material in redox flow batteries. A number of researchers across the country are working on flow batteries due to their potential for electric grid applications.
🌬️ WIND: Des Moines, Iowa-based MidAmerican Energy is providing decommissioned wind turbine blades for research at the University of Tennessee to find ways to recycle the blades, reports the Casper Star Tribune. The goal is to reclaim glass fiber from the blades and make new products from it.
🌞 RENEWABLES: National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers demonstrated in a study from a couple of years ago that better connections along the seams of the eastern and western power grids in the U.S. would speed up wind and solar energy growth and reduce reliance on coal while saving consumers money — but the Trump administration blocked the plan, according to The Atlantic. The study results were released at energy summits in Iowa and Kansas before getting nixed.
🚜 AGRICULTURE: A new generation of small farming operations is emerging in Minnesota, and the young farmers’ focus on sustainable, innovation-forward operations could change agricultural and food industry systems, reports MinnPost.
💰 FUNDING: Greenlight Planet, a solar startup that spun out of the University of Illinois, raised $90 million for developing solar-powered, pay-as-you-go electricity kits, reports Chicago Inno.
🏃 ACCELERATOR: Chicago innovation space mHUB launched a hard tech startup accelerator focusing on producing technologies in industries including energy, smart cities, and mobility. Ten high-potential startups will be chosen for the six-month program.
🗺️ JUUUST OUTSIDE THE MIDWEST:
- The Tennessee Valley Authority is building its first grid-scale battery energy storage system, deemed the “energy grid of the future,” reports WATE.
- Researchers at the University of Arkansas developed tools to control genes in methane-producing bacteria, which could affect biofuel production and other innovations for climate action, according to Biofuels Digest.