The U.S. Department of Energy has chosen La Jolla-based clean tech company Hyperlight Energy as one of 43 small businesses that will work with the DOE’s national labs to "accelerate the transformation toward a clean energy economy," the department announced Tuesday.

Established in 2010, Hyperlight -- part of the EvoNexus incubator in the University Towne Centre neighborhood -- is headed by CEO John D.H. King.

Hyperlight will team up with scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado to develop thermal battery storage options for solar thermal/geothermal hybrid power plants, according to the DOE.

The fledgling Energy Department program, called the Small Business Vouchers Pilot, kicked off March 10 with round one, which awarded 33 companies vouchers worth a total of $6.7 million to exchange for technical assistance from scientists at national laboratories or to initiate collaborative research projects.

Round two, the results of which were announced today, awarded vouchers totaling $8 million.

Information is slated to become available for round three in October, the DOE said.

Hyperlight is the first San Diego-area business to be chosen for the program.

The Energy Department, in its statement Tuesday, said the businesses selected will get access to “world-class laboratory resources” to move their ideas and technologies closer to the marketplace.

In addition to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the businesses will also collaborate with scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Savannah River National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the National Energy Technology Laboratory, the DOE said.