US DOE to allocate $100 million for non-lithium, long-duration energy storage pilots

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) has issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to fund pilot-scale energy storage demonstration projects, focusing on non-lithium technologies, 10+ hour discharge systems, and stationary storage applications.
Invinity large energy storage systems
Image: Invinity

Interest in long-duration energy storage (LDES) is rising rapidly as demand for clean reliable capacity grows. In the US, new funding was announced this week in a bid to propel a variety of LDES technologies toward commercial viability.

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) on Tuesday for up to $100 million to fund pilot-scale energy storage demonstration projects, focusing on non-lithium technologies, 10+ hour discharge systems, and stationary storage applications. A funding solicitation is anticipated in late-summer / early-fall. 

OCED plans to fund 3-15 projects, offering $5-20 million each with a 50% minimum non-Federal cost share per project. Projects will require applicants to have a team that includes a technology provider and encourage inclusion of utilities, facility owner/operators, developers, financiers, and others that support a clear path to commercial adoption, the office said in a release. 

The funding aims to support the advancement of a diverse set of non-lithium LDES technologies. It is part of the Long-Duration Energy Storage Pilot Program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to the tune of $505 million.

The support is provided with the goal to generate high-quality operational datasets and techno-economic models that further the technology readiness level of these systems and build confidence in the real performance and viability of LDES solutions. The funding will be directed toward technology maturation activities including design for manufacturability, pilot system development, fabrication and installation, operational testing and validation, commercial scale system design, and supply chain growth. 

DOE estimates the US will need approximately 700-900 GW of additional clean, firm capacity to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

With most LDES technologies still nascent, BNEF has surveyed seven LDES technology groups and 20 technology types in its report released earlier this year and found that the least expensive technologies are already providing cheaper storage than lithium-ion batteries for durations over eight hours.

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  • Marija has years of experience in a news agency environment and writing for print and online publications. She took over as the editor of pv magazine Australia in 2018 and helped establish its online presence over a two-year period.

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