WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $325 million for 15 projects across 17 states and one tribal nation to accelerate the development of long-duration energy storage (LDES) technologies. Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these demonstration projects will increase community control of local power systems, mitigate risks associated with disruptions to the grid, and help communities develop reliable and affordable energy systems. Today’s announcement will help DOE realize its Long Duration Storage Shot goal of reducing the cost of LDES by 90% by 2030 and supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to advance critical clean energy technologies, expand the adoption of renewable energy resources, and strengthen America’s energy security.
“As we build our clean energy future, reliable energy storage systems will play a key role in protecting communities by providing dependable sources of electricity when and where it’s needed most, particularly in the aftermath of extreme weather events or natural disasters,” said U.S Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, DOE is supporting game-changing energy storage projects across the nation—laying the foundation for the innovative solutions we need to ensure stronger, more resilient communities.”
Energy storage is essential to enabling utilities and grid operators to effectively adopt and utilize the nation’s growing portfolio of clean energy resources, like solar and wind, on demand. However, today’s energy storage technologies are not sufficiently scaled or affordable to support the broad use of renewable energy on the grid. According to DOE’s Pathways to Commercial Liftoff: LDES report, cheaper, longer, and more efficient storage is needed to meet energy demand that fluctuates throughout the day and night. For example, solar power generated during the day could be stored for nighttime use or nuclear energy generated in low demand periods can be used when demand increases.
The LDES Demonstrations Program, managed by DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), funds a range of different technology types intended to overcome technical and institutional barriers to full-scale deployment of LDES systems in diverse geographies and climates. Projects selected will feature a range of intraday (10 to 36 hours) and multiday (36 to 160+ hours) storage solutions, which can minimize the frequency and length of power interruptions caused by events such as severe weather or cyberattacks on the grid. Some selected projects seek to pursue innovative approaches to the re-use and recycling of retired batteries—supporting the growing domestic electric vehicle industry and creating new economic opportunities while delivering environmental benefits to communities across the country.
Selected projects under the LDES Funding Opportunity include:
- Communities Accessing Resilient Energy Storage (CARES) (Red Lake Nation, Santa Fe, NM, and Petaluma, CA) — Led by Rejoule, this project aims to utilize retired EV batteries to provide demand reduction, load shifting, and resilience to two affordable housing complexes and a Red Lake Nation workforce development campus. Rejoule plans to collaborate with other stakeholders to expand workforce opportunities, such as preparing youth, women, and other individuals with barriers to entry for high-quality, good-paying careers in the clean energy sector.
- Second life Smart Systems (SMART) (Atlanta, GA, San Diego, CA, Orangeburg, SC, Denmark, SC, and New Orleans, LA) — Led by Smartville Inc., this project seeks to take advantage of retired electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries to build stationary storage systems that bring grid resiliency, increase energy affordability, and supply backup-up power to senior centers, low-income multi-family affordable housing complexes, and EV charging facilities. This project will include high-tech career employment training at several Historically Black College and Universities.
- Multiday Iron Air Demonstration (MIND) (Becker, MN and Pueblo, CO) — Led Xcel Energy, in partnership with Form Energy, this project seeks to accelerate the commercialization and market development of multiday storage, including by deploying two 10 megawatt 100-hour LDES systems at retiring coal plants in Minnesota and Colorado. Through collaborations with stakeholders, including labor unions such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the project team plans to develop pathways to employment for communities near the LDES sites and other workforce development initiatives.
- Children’s Hospital Resilient Grid with Energy Storage (CHARGES) (Madera, CA) — Led by the State of California through the California Energy Commission, this project aims to provide critical power backup for an acute care hospital and will provide resiliency in a region that is increasingly at-risk for significant power outages due to fires, storm surges, floods, extreme heat, and earthquakes. In collaboration with Faraday Microgrids, the project team will install a 34.4-megawatt hour battery system for the Valley Children’s Hospital, which is located in an underserved community.
A full list of projects selected for award negotiations under the FOA is available here.
Funding applicants were required to submit a community benefits plan to outline how proposed projects will support community and workforce engagement, invest in the American workforce, advance energy and environmental justice, and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and deliver benefits to disadvantaged communities as part of the Justice40 Initiative. These key requirements, when incorporated comprehensively into project proposals and executed upon, will help de-risk these projects to ensure that the transition to a clean energy economy benefits all Americans. This fall, OCED will co-host a series of virtual regional briefings alongside the selected project teams to share more about the projects with community stakeholders.
DOE also announced six projects selected for the LDES Lab Call to demonstrate technology innovations and resiliency advantages in national labs at a range of scales. More information on the six selected lab call projects is available here.
Selection for award negotiations is not a commitment by DOE to issue an award or provide funding. Before funding is issued, DOE and the applicants will undergo a negotiation process, and DOE may cancel negotiations and rescind the selection for any reason during that time.
As highlighted in DOE’s Pathways to Commercial Liftoff: LDES report, significant public and private investment is essential to realizing the full potential of LDES and the widespread adoption and utilization of the nation’s growing portfolio of clean energy resources. The investments announced today represent a significant step towards reaching successful commercialization of LDES technologies and achieving DOE’s LDES Energy Earthshot.
In addition to these selectees, DOE recently launched the Collaborative Alignment for Critical Technology Industries lab call to establish an LDES industry working group to bring together stakeholders across the value chain, facilitate discussion around divergent practices, identify commercialization challenges, and work collaboratively to develop recommendations and best practices for resolving challenges.
Learn more about OCED, DOE’s Long Duration Storage Shot, and how DOE’s Energy Earthshots Initiative is supporting the Biden-Harris Administration’s all-of-government approach to addressing the climate crisis and delivering a clean and equitable energy future for all.