Unprecedented Time for Energy Storage Development

The Department of Energy (DOE) held its Energy Storage Grand Challenge Summit (ESGC) online and in Atlanta, GA on July 25-27, 2023.

Dr. Alyssa McQuilling, CBI’s U.S. Research and Innovation Manager, shared her thoughts and key takeaways from the event.

McQuilling noted that this is an unprecedented time for the development of energy storage with historic investments being made by the federal government to aid in commercialization.

As the DOE and other agencies are taking an “all of the above" approach to meeting the demands of a modern grid; there’s room for all the technologies to meet customers’ needs for a reliable grid (while also maintaining affordability).

At CBI, we encourage participation from all technologies to meet the growing global energy storage demand. CBI organized a response from the U.S. industry, and DOE ESGC efforts used the feedback from CBI members in a DOE Lead Battery Lift-off Report. 

In this report, an in-depth analysis of lead battery innovation pathways was conducted, resulting in portfolios of lead battery improvements capable of helping the DOE reach the 0.05$/kWh/energy throughput goal outlined in the ESGC. These improvements include advanced manufacturing, improving cycle life, advanced control algorithms, standardization of devices and protocols, and demonstration projects to understand the impact of scaling on cost. 

At the same time, we recognize how well-suited lead batteries are because they are a cost-effective, safe, and reliable solution. DOE recognizes lead batteries for this value as part of the energy storage solution as they currently represent much of the market.

Another takeaway is the ongoing emphasis on U.S. manufacturing, jobs, and ensuring that historically underserved communities also benefit through adopting energy storage technologies.

As a result, it will become increasingly important to make new connections that can accelerate growth in the industry because (again) the speed at which things are developing is unprecedented. These connections are critical and include collaboration and working across industries.

In the last session of the summit, the discussion focused on ROVI, or Rapid Operational Validation Initiative, (part of a collaborative effort from 6 national labs) to figure out how to model system performance/degradation/failure for different battery technologies by combining approximately one year of system data with machine learning/AI modeling approaches to figure out how the system will perform over a 15 to 20 year lifetime.

CBI is answering the many DOE opportunities by utilizing the breadth and expertise of our membership and bringing in key institutions and systems providers. These collaborative teams are poised to deliver a high-performing, sustainable, domestic solution to meet the many goals of the ESGC.

Below are two Energy Storage Innovation reports that were recently released:

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