The Department of Energy is proving that green IT is more than just the latest buzzword, announcing Monday that it will provide more than $18 million in funding to support small business innovation research, development and deployment of clean energy technologies.

The funding, available through the America's Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be in the form of 125 grants of up to $150,000 each, awarded to 107 small advanced technology firms nationwide. The firms were selected from a pool of 950 applicants, partially for their emphasis on near-term commercialization and job creation.

"Small businesses are drivers of innovation and are crucial to the development of a competitive clean energy U.S. economy," said Chu. "These investments will help ensure small businesses are able to compete in the clean energy economy, creating jobs and developing new technologies to help decrease carbon pollution and increase energy efficiency."

Among the funded topics are eight projects working on smart controllers for smart grid applications, one project developing power plant cooling, and 12 projects working on sensors, controls and wireless networks.

Green IT, along with cloud computing, has been named one of the top tech trends for 2010 by Verizon Business, and has been hailed by industry experts as an option for reducing IT costs.

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