The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a request of information (RFI), requesting public input on the structure of an ambitious $505 million long-duration energy store initiative. This initiative will increase access to and deliver reliable, affordable clean electricity. 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. Cheaper, longer energy storage can increase local control of the power system, build resilience for communities, minimize power grid disruptions and help reach President Biden’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.
“The ability to move cheaper, cleaner electricity where and when it is needed most is the linchpin to a reliable energy grid and critical to meeting President Biden’s clean energy goals,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The Long Duration Energy Storage for Everyone, Everywhere initiative leverages the expertise of the Department, National Labs, and industry to drive next-generation energy storage – making solar power available when the sun isn’t shining and keeping wind energy on tap when there’s no breeze.”
Shorter duration storage is currently being installed to support today’s increasing amount of renewable energy generation and electrification. With help from the historic investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, more renewables will be deployed on the grid, and building and vehicle electrification will continue to rise. As the nation seeks to increase access to and availability of renewable energy, longer-term storage technologies are necessary. Long duration energy storage – defined as systems that can store energy for more than 10 hours at a time – would support a low-cost, reliable, carbon-free electric grid. It will be easier to capture and store clean electricity for use when it is not available or lower than the demand.
The initiative, administered through DOE’s new Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, will work to overcome these challenges and achieve the cost goal by investing 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 launch three energy storage demonstration projects.
The Demo program will help prepare a group of promising technologies to demonstrate their utility-scale potential. This could be done through campus, behind-the-meter or lab demonstrations. These field demonstrations are limited to 100 kW and have been tested at lab scale.
Demo Projects will facilitate first-of a-kind technologies at utility-scale by mitigating risk during final technical validation before wider deployment, the most challenging portion of the commercialization cycle. This program will require large, long-duration storage demonstrations to be capable of providing at least 10 hours of rated energy and to undergo sufficient third-party validation/testing to support a path to reaching the goal of a levelized storage cost of $0.05/kWh.
The Pilot Grants program will address institutional obstacles to technology adoption in the market. It is easier to remove these barriers once a technology has been installed, used, de-risked, proven to be beneficial to users and communities. Few entities have the financial ability to invest in such pilots. This barrier will be overcome by pilot grants, which allow eligible entities to invest more in storage. These include state energy offices and Tribal Nations.
DOE and the U.S. Department of Defense are collaborating under the Long Duration Energy Storage Initiative for long-term 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. This cost reduction will make dispatchable energy storage for long duration energy storage the most economical option for electricity customers. To achieve this goal, a wide range energy storage technologies will need to considered, including electrochemical and mechanical, thermal as well flexible generation, flexible buildings, power electronics, and flexible generation.
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.
These programs will support the creation of union jobs and secure domestic supply chains. Consistent with the Biden Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, this initiative supports the goal that 40% of the benefits from climate investments flow to disadvantaged communities.
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 EnergyStorage41001RFI@ee.doe.gov.