The Energy Department is unveiling $54 million in grants to help manufacturers design energy-efficient products. General Motors Co. and Dow Chemical Co. are among the recipients.
The awards are matched with $17 million in private-sector funding for 13 projects to advance new technologies, materials and processes that can help U.S. manufacturers dramatically increase the energy efficiency of their operations and reduce costs.
“The projects announced today will improve the competitive position of U.S. industry and help Michigan’s manufacturers produce more while saving energy, saving money and protecting our air and water,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
Industrial production consumes about one-third of all energy produced in the United States.
The Michigan projects include a $9 million investment for Dow to create a low-cost carbon fiber production process that could reduce the cost of manufacturing carbon fibers by 20 percent and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent.
GM will receive a nearly $2.7 million grant to develop an integrated die-casting process that is expected to achieve a 50 percent energy savings for the process used to manufacture car doors.
The reduced weight in the doors would also result in significant fuel economy improvements and carbon emission savings.
“To get our state growing rapidly again, we must continue to transform our economy and see more advanced manufacturing products being made in Michigan,” said U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing. “This public-private partnership will support Dow Chemical and General Motors as they continue to develop new innovative technologies that will help reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and create new high-tech jobs here in Michigan.”