Long-duration energy storage innovators receive DOE funding


In 2020 the Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Energy Storage Grand Challenge, with a mission to sustain U.S. global leadership in energy storage. The Grand Challenge built on the $158 million Advanced Energy Storage Initiative in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget request, with an aim of accelerating the development, commercialization and use of next-generation energy storage technologies. The recipients were named at the Long-Duration Energy Storage Council Summit:

  • New Lab, LLC
    • Project Title: Enabling high-capacity zinc utilization through electrode and electrolyte fundamentals
    • Federal share: $4,992,570
  • Battery Council International 
    • Project Title: Consortium for Lead Battery Leadership in LDES
    • Federal share: $4,972,746
  • Clean Tech Strategies LLC
    • Project title: Pre-Competitive Research & Development to Accelerate the Maturation of Flow Battery Technologies into Cost-Effective Long Duration Energy Storage
    • Federal share: $5,000,000

The Office of Electricity selected these organizations for their innovative approaches to overcoming barriers in research and development of domestic energy storage.

Awards of up to $5 million each are given for projects that the Office of Electricity sees as bringing together technology stakeholders and research institutions to solve one or more pre-competitive R&D technical challenge.

Projects must enable a long-duration capable (10+ hours) energy storage technology with a pathway to $0.05/ kWh levelized cost of storage (LCOS) by 2030, the goal of the Long Duration Storage Shot.

With the current administration’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, long-duration grid-scale energy storage is necessary to stabilize the grid. These awards support domestic projects that will advance zinc, lead and flow battery technologies, all of which are expected to build on the Inflation Reduction Act’s domestic production incentives for energy storage.

The awardees are focused on non-lithium technologies, which the Office of Electricity sees as helping create a “future diversified and secure energy storage supply chain that reduces dependence on critical materials”.

“These funding opportunities help propel the future of energy storage and deliver cost-effective solutions for our nation’s electricity needs” said Gene Rodrigues, assistant secretary for electricity. “Energy storage bolsters system reliability and enables every American to benefit from abundant and affordable clean energy. These consortia will accelerate the race to achieve the Long Duration Storage Shot, fulfilling the promise of next-generation energy storage technologies for the benefit of the American people.”

The Energy Storage Grand Challenge sets the following goals for the U.S. to reach by 2030:

  1. Technology Development: Establish ambitious, achievable performance goals, and a comprehensive R&D portfolio to achieve them;
  2. Technology Transfer: Accelerate the technology pipeline from research to system design to private sector adoption through rigorous system evaluation, performance validation, siting tools, and targeted collaborations;
  3. Policy and Valuation: Develop best-in-class models, data, and analysis to inform the most effective value proposition and use cases for storage technologies;
  4. Manufacturing and Supply Chain: Design new technologies to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and recyclability, and to reduce dependence on foreign sources of critical materials; and
  5. Workforce: Train the next generation of American workers to meet the needs of the 21st century electric grid and energy storage value chain.

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