The Department of Energy (DOE) released a request for input (RFI) to solicit feedback from a wide range of stakeholders on DOE’s implementation strategy and eligibility requirements of its Long Duration Energy Storage initiative.
Long duration energy storage can increase local control of the power system, build resilience for communities, minimize power grid disruptions, and help reach the USgoal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.
“The ability to move cheaper, cleaner electricity where and when it is needed most is the linchpin to a reliable energy grid and critical to meeting President Biden’s clean energy goals,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The Long Duration Energy Storage for Everyone, Everywhere initiative leverages the expertise of the Department, National Labs, and industry to drive next-generation energy storage — making solar power available when the sun isn’t shining and keeping wind energy on tap when there’s no breeze.”
Shorter duration storage is currently being installed to support the renewable energy generation and electrification being added to the grid in record numbers. With help from investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, more grid-connected renewables will be deployed and building and vehicle electrification will continue to rise. Cheaper and more efficient systems that can store energy for more than 10 hours at a time would support a low-cost, reliable, carbon-free electric grid.
The initiative, administered through DOE’s new Office of Clean Energy Demonstratons will invest approximately $505 million over four years to validate grid-scale long duration energy storage technologies and enhance the capabilities of customers and communities to integrate grid storage more effectively.
The DOE will implement three energy storage demonstration programs:
- Demonstration: The Demo program will prepare a cohort of promising technologies for utility-scale demonstration, which might not otherwise proceed given potential technology investment risks, through lab, behind-the-meter, or campus demonstrations. Specifically, these field demonstrations are intended at the scale of 100 kilowatt (kW) or less and have already been proven at lab-scale.
- Validation: The Demo Projects will enable first-of-a-kind technologies at utility scale by mitigating risk during the final technical validation point before wider deployment, the steepest portion of the commercialization curve. Large long duration storage demonstrations in this program will need to be able to provide at least 10 hours of rated power and undergo enough third-party testing/ validation to substantiate a pathway to meeting the target of a levelized cost of storage of $0.05/kWh.
- Piloting: The Pilot Grants program will address institutional barriers to technology adoption in the marketplace. Such barriers can be easier to resolve when a technology has been installed, operated, de-risked, and shown to provide benefit to users, communities, or the power system. Few entities have the financial capability to invest in such a pilot. Pilot grants will mitigate this barrier by enabling greater storage investment by eligible entities which include state energy offices, Tribal Nations, higher education, utilities, and energy storage companies.
The DOE is also collaborating with the US Department of Defense for long duration storage demonstrations on government facilities.
Long Duration Storage Shot
DOE’s Long Duration Storage Shot, launched in July 2021, set a target of achieving a levelized cost of energy storage of $0.05/kWh, a 90% reduction from a 2020 baseline costs by 2030. Achieving this cost target will make dispatchable clean energy available through long duration energy storage the most cost-effective choice for electricity customers. To meet this target, a wide range of energy storage technologies, including electrochemical, mechanical, thermal, flexible generation, flexible buildings, and power electronics, will need to be considered, well beyond the traditional lithium-ion batteries.
In March, DOE’s Energy Storage for Social Equity Initiative selected 14 communities to receive technical assistance to leverage energy storage as a means of increasing resilience and long-term affordability. Consistent with the Justice40 Initiative, this initiative supports the goal that 40% of the benefits from climate investments flow to disadvantaged communities.
The RFI seeks public input to help inform DOE’s implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also commonly known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The RFI seeks input on:
- BIL 41001 Energy Storage Programs-Specific Requirements and Implementation Strategy
- BIL 41001 Energy Storage Programs Crosscutting Topics
- Employment: Expanding Union Jobs and Effective Workforce Development • Equity, Environmental and Energy Justice (EEEJ) Priorities
- Additional Input Information collected from this RFI will be used by DOE for planning purposes, which could include developing future Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) related to 41001 energy storage programs.
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