Ramgen Power Nabs $20M From Federal Stimulus to Make Coal Cleaner

Bellevue, WA-based Ramgen Power Systems has secured $20 million from the federal stimulus package to develop technology that captures and stores excess carbon emitted by power plants, according to a statement from U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee.

Ramgen’s technology seeks to capture and store excess carbon based on compression principles learned from studying supersonic jet engines, as we described in our list of Washington’s leading cleantech companies in March. Ramgen is led by CEO Douglas Jewett, the former City Attorney of Seattle, according to the company’s website. He has been CEO of Ramgen since 1998, and had raised $22 million in private funding, and $26 million in government funding to support the technology before today’s announcement.

The latest funding comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the $787 billion pot of money otherwise known as the federal “stimulus.” More specifically, the money is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s $1.5 billion initiative to improve carbon capture and storage as a way to help coal power plants get cleaner. Energy Secretary Steven Chu singled out Ramgen as a leading developer of this technology today at a meeting of the National Coal Council, along with Cholla Power Plant near Holbrook, AZ, which is receiving $70 million for a coal gasification system, according to this report by Scientific American.

Inslee, in a statement, said the support for Ramgen’s work is what he had in mind when he voted for the stimulus. The bill “is designed to put thousands of people to work in advancing the technologies that will lead America away from the dirty legacy that fossil fuels left for us and toward the clean energy economy that awaits,” he said. “I’m pleased that investment in this important technology will be key in the economic and environmental recovery.”

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