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Sirti awards energy funds

Two Spokane tech companies will get a share of $1.5 million in federal energy grants and loans to help develop new products and create high-paying jobs.

The money was awarded by the Sirti Foundation’s Energy Innovation Fund, which invited applications from companies engaged in cutting-edge energy technology.

Washington Department of Commerce State Energy Program provided the $1.5 million under the federal stimulus package. Twenty applications were submitted.

Recipients include Great Northern LLC, a local demonstration project with Seattle-based building-management company, McKinstry, to showcase power-saving options using geothermal systems; and Demand Energy Networks, a Liberty Lake firm creating energy-storage batteries for the power grid.

Great Northern will receive $100,000 in grants and a $100,000 loan. The impact is an estimated eight new jobs, said a Sirti press release.

Demand Energy Networks will get $100,000 in loans and $350,000 in grants to improve the design and efficiency of its storage device. It’s intended to provide ways to store energy in batteries then introduce it, on demand, into the power grid.