The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on May 12 issued a request for information (RFI) seeking input on the structure of a $505 million long duration energy storage initiative.
“The new Long Duration Energy Storage for Everyone, Everywhere Initiative, created by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will advance energy storage systems toward widespread commercial deployment by lowering the costs and increasing the duration of energy storage resources,” DOE said.
The initiative, administered through DOE's new Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, will invest approximately $505 million over four years to validate grid-scale long duration energy storage technologies and enhance the capabilities of customers and communities to integrate grid storage more effectively.
DOE will implement three programs:
- Demonstration: The demonstration program will prepare a cohort of promising technologies for utility-scale demonstration, which might not otherwise proceed given potential technology investment risks, through lab, behind-the-meter, or campus demonstrations. Specifically, these field demonstrations are intended at the scale of 100 kilowatt (kW) or less and have already been proven at lab-scale.
- Validation: The demonstration projects will enable first-of-a-kind technologies at utility scale by mitigating risk during the final technical validation point before wider deployment, the steepest portion of the commercialization curve. Large long duration storage demonstrations in this program will need to be able to provide at least 10 hours of rated power and undergo enough third-party testing/ validation to substantiate a pathway to meeting the target of a levelized cost of storage of $0.05/kWh.
- Piloting: The Pilot Grants program will address institutional barriers to technology adoption in the marketplace. Such barriers can be easier to resolve when a technology has been installed, operated, de-risked, and shown to provide benefit to users, communities, or the power system. Few entities have the financial capability to invest in such a pilot. Pilot grants will mitigate this barrier by enabling greater storage investment by eligible entities which include state energy offices, Tribal Nations, higher education, utilities, and energy storage companies.
Under the overall Long Duration Energy Storage Initiative, DOE is also collaborating with the U.S. Department of Defense for long duration storage demonstrations at government facilities.
DOE’s Long Duration Storage Shot, launched in July 2021, sets a target of achieving a levelized cost of energy storage of $0.05/kWh, a 90% reduction from a 2020 baseline costs by 2030.
To meet this target, a wide range of energy storage technologies, including electrochemical, mechanical, thermal, flexible generation, flexible buildings, and power electronics, will need to be considered, well beyond the traditional lithium-ion batteries, DOE said.
In March, DOE’s Energy Storage for Social Equity Initiative selected 14 communities to receive technical assistance to leverage energy storage as a means of increasing resilience and long-term affordability.
The goal of the RFI is to solicit feedback from a wide range of stakeholders on DOE’s implementation strategy and eligibility requirements.
Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. EDT on June 16, 2022, and can be submitted by emailing [email protected].
A public webinar will be held to provide additional information.