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DOE provides $325 million for US long-duration storage

September 25, 2023

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $325 million for a series of projects – across 17 states and one tribal nation – aimed at accelerating the development of long-duration energy storage (LDES) technologies. 

Projects selected will feature a range of intraday (10 to 36 hours) and multiday (36 to more than 160 hours) storage systems, which can minimise the frequency and length of power interruptions caused by events such as severe weather or cyberattacks on the grid. Some selected projects seek to pursue innovative approaches to the re-use and recycling of retired batteries, thereby supporting the growing domestic electric vehicle industry and creating new economic opportunities while providing environmental benefits to communities.  

Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these demonstration projects will “increase community control of local power systems, mitigate risks associated with disruptions to the grid, and help communities develop reliable and affordable energy systems,” a DOE statement said.

The statement added that the funding will help the DOE “realise its ‘Long Duration Storage Shot’ goal of reducing the cost of LDES by 90% by 2030 and supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to advance critical clean energy technologies, expand the adoption of renewable energy resources, and strengthen America’s energy security”.   

US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, said: “As we build our clean energy future, reliable energy storage systems will play a key role in protecting communities by providing dependable sources of electricity when and where it’s needed most, particularly in the aftermath of extreme weather events or natural disasters. Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, DOE is supporting game-changing energy storage projects across the nation—laying the foundation for the innovative solutions we need to ensure stronger, more resilient communities.” 

Details of the projects are as follows:
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Project Name: Communities Accessing Resilient Energy Storage (CARES)

Project Manager: Tobias Hecht, PhD 

Locations: Red Lake Nation, Santa Fe, NM, and Petaluma, CA

Project Summary: Most decommissioned electric vehicle batteries languish in warehouses. The CARES project, proposed by ReJoule, a second-life battery diagnostics and reuse company, will use retired electric vehicle batteries to provide demand reduction, load shifting, and resilience to two affordable housing complexes and a Red Lake Nation workforce development campus. 

Project Name: Second life sMARt sysTems (SMART)

Project Manager: Dr. Antoni Tong 

Locations: Atlanta, GA, San Diego, CA, Denmark, SC, Orangeburg, SC, and New Orleans, LA 

Project Summary: The retired electric vehicle (EV) lithium-ion battery stockpile is growing, and there is great debate over how they should be disposed of. The batteries are made from cobalt, lithium, and nickel, which are scarce and nonrenewable resources. Smartville Inc. works to solve this issue by giving EV batteries a second life with a high value per kilowatt hour. Smartville has secured partnerships for the installation of lithium-ion battery long-duration energy storage (LDES) systems with a total of more than 7MWh to provide grid resiliency, bill reduction, and backup-up power at senior centers, low-income multi-family affordable housing complexes, and EV charging facilities. Repurposing retired EV batteries ensures that fewer minerals are mined and less carbon is generated from new battery manufacturing. Notably, this project will include high-tech career employment training at Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs). 

Project Name: STOred Rechargeable Energy Demonstration (STORED)  

Project Manager: Gabriel Cowles 

Locations: Oneonta, NY and County of Westchester, NY

Project Summary: Energy storage is critical to New York’s clean energy future. As renewable power sources like wind and solar provide a growing portion of New York State’s electricity, storage will allow clean energy to be available when it is most needed. New York aims to deploy 3,000MW of storage by 2030 and has convened an Inter-Agency Fire Safety Working Group to address battery safety issues. This project utilizes a fire-safe battery using low-cost and largely domestically available materials. Urban Electric Power aims to demonstrate the viability of its zinc manganese dioxide (ZnMnO2) batteries in large scale and long-duration energy storage systems (LDESS). 

Project Name: Rural Energy Viability for Integrated Vital Energy (REVIVE)

Project Manager: Michael Keyser  

Locations: Tama, IA, Blair, SC, Hamlet, NC, Ewell, MD, and Waterville, IA

Project Summary: Rural areas are often the last to benefit from innovation, have lower household incomes, and have limited resources to invest in emerging technologies. Power outages are increasingly common in these areas, leaving communities and critical infrastructure more vulnerable. To address these challenges, the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) and its project partners are developing 5 geographically diverse sites across the Midwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States utilizing vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) with nominal discharge ratings of 700kW to 3.6MW and discharge capabilities of up to 20 hours. 

Project Name: Children’s HospitAl Resilient Grid with Energy Storage (CHARGES)

Project Manager: Mike Gravely  

Location: Madera, CA

Project Summary: During a power outage, hospitals require reliable back-up power to continue to provide essential services. This project will install a 34.4MWh behind-the-meter, zinc bromide flow battery system for the Valley Children’s Hospital, located in the underserved community of Madera, California. This long-duration energy storage (LDES) project will be a key demonstration of critical power backup of an acute care hospital in the US and will provide resiliency in a region that is increasingly at-risk for significant power outages due to fires, storm surges, floods, extreme heat, and earthquakes. 

Project Name: Front-of-the-meter Utilization of Zinc bromide Energy Storage (FUZES)

Project Manager: Jeffrey Plew

Locations: Morrow County, OR, Manitowoc County, WI

Project Summary: NextEra Energy Resources, LLC proposes development of several 10-hour duration battery energy storage projects that use aqueous zinc technology for an in-front-of-the-meter application at multiple existing renewable energy sites in the Pacific Northwest and Upper Midwest.

 

Project Name: Columbia Energy Storage Project  

Project Manager: Michael Bremel

Location: Columbia County, WI 

Project Summary: This project would be the first to demonstrate, at a commercial scale, a closed-loop CO2-based energy storage system and could validate the technology for wide-scale deployment in the United States. Alliant Energy expects to extract additional value from renewable energy resources, significantly reducing CO2 emissions over the next several years and positioning itself toward success in achieving net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. The project will likely be located on a brownfield site with a two-unit coal-fired power station scheduled for retirement in 2026.

 

Project Name: Pumped thermal energy stOrage in ALaska Railbelt (POLAR)

Project Manager: Holly Millard-Burns 

Location: Healy, Alaska

Project Summary: Supplying reliable electricity to residents and businesses in Healy, Alaska presents challenges due to its remote location and extreme weather. Currently the area is served by a coal-fired power plant, one unit of which is slated for retirement. This LDES project pairs with planned wind power development in the region to demonstrate LDES firming renewable power at the grid scale while also providing enhanced grid resiliency. This site location also provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate the viability of high-temperature long-duration energy storage in a cold climate. This project will develop and deploy a Pumped Thermal Energy Storage (PTES) system to assist in local and regional grid resiliency and stability, regional carbon footprint reduction, and improved reliability of electricity in Alaska’s Railbelt region, while demonstrating LDES’s support of renewable energy. 
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Project Name: Multiday Iron air Demonstration (MIND)

Project Manager: Steve Christensen 

Locations: Becker, MN and Pueblo, CO

Project Summary: Multiday energy storage is essential for the reliability of renewable electricity generation required to achieve our clean energy goals and provides resiliency against multiday weather events of low wind or solar resources. Xcel Energy, in partnership with Form Energy, will deploy two 10MW 100-hour long-duration energy storage (LDES) systems at retiring coal plants in Minnesota and Colorado. This project aims to accelerate the commercialization and market development of multiday storage through strategic partnership, technology, and scale.