Biden-Harris Administration Allocates $325 Million for Long-Duration Energy Storage Projects

Washington, D.C. (Natural Energy News): In a monumental stride toward fortifying the United States' energy infrastructure and advancing the clean energy transition, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled an investment of up to $325 million. This funding will be distributed among 15 projects spanning 17 states and one tribal nation. The objective is to accelerate the development of long-duration energy storage (LDES) technologies.

Biden-Harris Administration Allocates $325 Million for Long-Duration Energy Storage Projects

These projects, backed by President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, hold the promise of enhancing community control over local power systems, mitigating risks associated with grid disruptions, and facilitating the creation of reliable and affordable energy systems. This announcement aligns with DOE's ambitious goal of reducing the cost of LDES by 90% by 2030 as part of the Long Duration Storage Shot initiative. It also reinforces the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to advancing critical clean energy technologies, expanding the use of renewable energy resources, and bolstering national energy security.

The Vision for Reliable Energy Storage

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm emphasized the pivotal role of energy storage systems in ensuring reliable electricity supply, especially in the aftermath of extreme weather events or natural disasters. She highlighted that these systems are instrumental in providing dependable sources of electricity when and where they are needed most.
Currently, energy storage is essential to enable the effective integration of the nation's growing portfolio of clean energy resources, such as solar and wind, on-demand. However, existing energy storage technologies are not scaled or cost-effective enough to fully support the broad utilization of renewable energy on the grid. Cheaper, longer-lasting, and more efficient storage solutions are required to meet the varying energy demands throughout the day and night effectively.

Diverse Range of Projects

Managed by DOE's Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), the LDES Demonstrations Program encompasses a diverse array of technology types. These projects aim to overcome technical and institutional barriers to the full-scale deployment of LDES systems in different geographies and climates. They will feature intraday (10 to 36 hours) and multiday (36 to 160+ hours) storage solutions. These technologies will reduce the frequency and duration of power interruptions caused by factors like severe weather or cyberattacks on the grid. Some projects will also explore innovative approaches to the re-use and recycling of retired batteries, supporting the domestic electric vehicle industry and creating new economic opportunities while delivering environmental benefits.

Selected Projects

A few of the selected projects under the LDES Funding Opportunity include:
Communities Accessing Resilient Energy Storage (CARES): This project aims to utilize retired electric vehicle batteries to enhance demand reduction, load shifting, and resilience in affordable housing complexes and a workforce development campus.

Second Life Smart Systems (SMART): SMART plans to employ retired electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries to create stationary storage systems, enhancing grid resiliency, affordability, and providing backup power to various facilities, including senior centers and EV charging stations.

Multiday Iron Air Demonstration (MIND): This project, led by Xcel Energy in partnership with Form Energy, will deploy 10-megawatt 100-hour LDES systems at retiring coal plants in Minnesota and Colorado, advancing multiday storage solutions.

Children's Hospital Resilient Grid with Energy Storage (CHARGES): In collaboration with Faraday Microgrids, this project will install a 34.4-megawatt hour battery system for Valley Children's Hospital, ensuring critical power backup and resiliency in an underserved community.

The DOE has placed a strong emphasis on community benefits, requiring project proposals to outline how they will support community and workforce engagement, invest in the American workforce, advance energy and environmental justice, and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
This significant investment marks a critical step toward realizing the potential of LDES and fostering the adoption of clean energy resources, ultimately contributing to the nation's clean and equitable energy future.

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