Grid Storage R&D Center planned for Pacific Northwest National Lab by 2025

Illustration courtesy Pacific Northwest National Lab

The first phase of planning work is underway on a $75 million research and development center focused on accelerating development and deployment of long-duration, low-cost energy storage.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the beginning of design and construction of the Grid Storage Launchpad located at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington.

The facility will include 30 research laboratories, some of which will be testing chambers capable of assessing prototypes and new grid energy storage technologies under real world grid operating conditions.

“The Grid Storage Launchpad facility will bring together researchers and industry from around the country to modernize and add flexibility to the power grid, advance storage technologies, and boost use of clean energy,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Deploying new grid technologies means we can get more renewable power on the system, support a growing fleet of electric vehicles, make our grid more reliable and resilient, and secure our clean energy future.”

The GSL will focus on three outcomes to advance grid energy storage development:

  • Collaboration: Bringing DOE, multidisciplinary researchers, and industry together at the facility will lower the barriers to innovation and deployment of grid-scale energy storage.
  • Validation: The facility will enable independent testing of next generation grid energy storage materials and systems under realistic grid operating conditions.
  • Acceleration: From benchtop to systems, the facility will de-risk and speed the development of new technologies by propagating rigorous performance requirements.

During this new phase of development, PNNL will select a design and construction contractor and begin working toward the start of construction, which could begin late this year. The building is expected to be operational and ready for occupancy by 2025.

“It took 40 years to get to the current state of today’s lithium-ion battery technology, but we need to move much faster to develop the long-duration, low-cost batteries needed to meet the significant challenges of decarbonizing the energy system,” said PNNL Director Steven Ashby. “The GSL will speed up the process considerably by doing the work needed to develop and deploy new grid storage technologies.”

The Grid Storage Launchpad will support the DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge announced in January 2020 by then Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette. The Challenge was initiated to help researchers and industry develop domestically manufactured energy storage technologies which can meet U.S. market demands by 2030.

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Energy Storage Breakthroughs will be a session track in POWERGEN International happening Jan. 26-28 in Dallas. The POWERGEN Call for Speakers is now open and click here to submit a session idea.

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