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US Government Backs Decentralized Energy Grid With $1 Million Grant

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) has announced it will award a grant of nearly $1 million to a blockchain startup in a move aimed to advance the development of a decentralized energy grid.

The Colorado-based Grid7 is one of 95 grant recipients announced by the DoE on Monday, which all won the second phase of the department's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The grants are intended to fund the projects over a period of two years.

According to the DoE, Grid7 is being awarded $999,363, which is part of the total $95 million that the DoE will grant to small businesses across 26 U.S. states in a bid to advance the country's energy sector using new technologies.

Based on data from the SBIR program, Grid7, with its three-person team, already received a grant of around $150,000 in 2017 through the program's first phase.

The DoE explained that startups which "demonstrated technical feasibility for innovations during their Phase I grants competed for funding for prototype or processes development during Phase II."

According to Grid7's website, the project aims to develop a decentralized solar power system that can share energy data from homes, buildings and electric grids in a distributed manner. The goal is to improve power supply efficiency and provide security against cyber-attacks, the DoE added.

The energy department's effort comes as lawmakers in Colorado state working to build a more blockchain-friendly environment.

As reported by CoinDesk in January, the Colorado Senate introduced a bill to allow for use of blockchain tech in replacing the state's existing data collection and maintenance processes, a move aimed to achieve higher levels of data security.

The bill was subsequently approved by the Senate in May and later took effect following the governor's final signature.

Electric grid image via Shutterstock

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