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The Biden-Harris Administration has announced a $350 million fund for Long-Duration Energy Storage (LDES) demonstration projects. These storage projects are built to deliver electricity for up to 10 to 24 hours or even longer to support a low-cost, reliable, and carbon-free electric grid.
The LDES Demonstrations Program will be managed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) for up to 11 demonstration projects, which are expected to contribute towards cutting the cost of grid-scale energy storage by 90% by 2030.
The DoE will fund up to 50% of each project’s cost, including a community benefits plan for each applicant. The program aims to fund projects that will overcome the technical and institutional barriers to full-scale deployment of LDES systems by focusing on various techniques for diverse regions.
Letters of Intent are due by December 15, 2022, and full applications are due by March 3, 2023.
As the U.S. moves towards a carbon-free electric grid that relies on accelerated renewable energy generation, the need for reliable LDES to supply enough energy for long periods when energy generation is either reduced or unavailable becomes critical.
Another part of the projects will be funded by Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and is expected to advance new renewable energy tech, enhance customer and communities’ capabilities to integrate grid storage effectively, increase grid resilience and expand the country’s global leadership in energy storage.
The new investment will also work with the Inflation Reduction Act – which provides expanded clean energy tax credits for energy storage installation. The initiative is aimed to give businesses the confidence they require to build and deploy innovative clean energy technologies, which are crucial to reaching the administration’s goal of a carbon-free electric grid by 2035 and a net-zero emissions economy by 2025.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said, “Advancing energy storage technologies is key to making energy generated from clean, renewable resources—like wind and solar—available for 24/7 use and is critical to achieving a decarbonized power grid and reaching President Biden’s ambitious climate goals.”
Recently, DoE announced a request for information (RFI) inviting comments to determine how it can best utilize the Cold War-era Defense Production Act to spur domestic production of clean energy technologies and strengthen grid reliability. Earlier in August, it had launched two new program offices – the Grid Deployment Office and the Office of State and Community Energy Programs – to drive more than $23 billion in investments to expand the power grid capacity and deploy cheaper, cheaper, cleaner energy.