Utility-scale Battery Research Underway

What happens when the U.S. government awards DuPont, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Bosch, and 3M $1.6 million to develop a longer-lasting, less expensive way to store clean energy? We will soon find out.

The organizations announced today that they will use the grant money — awarded under Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) — to collaborate on research aimed at improving grid operations through temporary storage with a new battery system.

The collaboration of the partners is a part of why the program should succeed.  “This ARPA-E funding provides us an opportunity to combine our strengths in batteries and fuel cells and work on an important new area, which is grid-scale storage,” said Venkat Srinivasan, scientist – Berkeley Lab, lead investigator for the project.  “We believe we have a very promising solution to the storage problems for grid applications, and this will provide the seed funding required to bring our research to fruition.”

Grid stability is important when more renewables come into the mix.  A cloud that suddenly covers solar panels or a drop in wind speed can cause sudden energy losses from PV panels and wind turbines, respectively.  Temporary energy storage is seen as the way to mitigate those sudden fluctions of energy.

“Bosch views stationary energy storage as one of the important enabling technologies for larger penetration of renewable energy sources into the national electricity grid,” said Dr. Horst Muenzel, regional president – Bosch Corporate Research North America.  “Bosch is very appreciative of the opportunity to contribute to a technology that we hope will improve the national grid and allow for a larger share of electrical energy to be derived from green sources.”

The work will be carried out at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.; Bosch in Palo Alto, Calif., and Cambridge, Mass.; DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington, Del.; and facilities at 3M.

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