Energy Department Launches New Grid Storage Test Facility

Mar 22, 2021

by ASME.ORG

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced the beginning of design and construction of a new Grid Storage Launchpad (GSL) facility intended to advance the development and deployment of utility scale energy storage technologies. The $75 million facility located at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is part of the DOE’s ongoing Energy Storage Grand Challenge, which aims to develop and domestically manufacture energy storage technologies that can meet all U.S. energy storage market demands by 2030.
 
“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 planned 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 GSL will include flexible workstations and collaboration spaces, including Fellowship Labs, which will provide dedicated space for researchers to incubate storage technologies originating from the U.S. research and development community.
 
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.
 
For more information on the Grid Storage Launchpad, visit:  https://www.energy.gov/oe/grid-storage-launchpad.
 

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