On April 3rd, 2024, ARPA-E signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the San Antonio International Airport, University of Texas at San Antonio and CPS Energy to celebrate the collective vision for the future of electrified airports. The agreement marks the first time an international airport has agreed to work together with the Department of Energy’s innovation arm to accelerate the deployment of new energy technologies that can decarbonize the aviation sector.

As part of the event, ARPA-E supported technologies were showcased to demonstrate how their solutions can change how airports harness, use, and store energy, enabling the electrified airport of the future. In addition to showcasing technologies that are working to decarbonize airports, two ARPA-E supported projects local to the area also showcased their technology, including from researchers at Texas A&M University as well as Quidnet Energy’s modular geomechanical energy storage. 

Read about these exciting technologies below:  


ARPA-E Electrified Airport MOU - Ampaire

Ampaire is developing hybrid-electric propulsion technology, which can be used across several aircraft solutions. This technology enables a cleaner solution to air travel and contributes to decarbonization of the industry. The technology ensures less fuel use, lower costs, and emissions savings to airports, without the infrastructure adoption barriers that come with other aircraft decarbonization options.  

Autogrid (now Uplight)

Uplight’s AutoGrid Flex™ platform is an AI-driven distributed energy resource (DER) management system that makes it possible to optimize various types of energy assets and use cases. The technology enables customers to monitor/control DERs, aggregate flexible dispatch/distribution capacity, and optimize energy resources by proactively anticipating and mitigating grid instability or congestion issues. Airports can manage and optimize AutoGrid Flex™ to support use cases including virtual power plant management, EV fleet management, microgrid management and demand response.

ARPA-E Electrified Airport MOU - Autogrid Uplight
ARPA-E Electrified Airport MOU - Imagen Energy
Imagen Energy

Imagen Energy is developing modular and compact DC Fast Chargers to support the rising demand for EV charging infrastructure. Imagen’s unique charging technology offers flexibility and scalability to support evolving demand, and their high-power density provides a cost-effective solution for users. Through their efficient and scalable EV chargers, Imagen offers airports the ability to easily adopt electric vehicles into airport ground fleets and support rising of EVs nationwide. 

Natron Energy

Natron Energy designs and manufactures sodium-ion batteries based on a unique Prussian blue electrode chemistry that outperform lithium-ion and lead acid batteries in power density, recharging speed, and expected cycle life. Their batteries can provide backup/supplemental power and support decarbonization across various industries. Natron’s technology offers several potential use cases to airports, including electrification of ground vehicles, EV fast charging, data centers, microgrid management and demand response.  

ARPA-E Electrified Airport MOU - Natron Energy