The US Department of Energy is laying plans for next generation, long duration energy storage systems. It is working on long duration battery systems since last May, when the agency announced it would provide $30 million in funding for R&D.
The agency envisions utility scale storage systems that can deliver power to 50,000 homes over a long period of time — and not just for a few hours. They want to see systems in the range of 10 to 100 hours, preferably 100. As if that’s not enough, low cost is also a priority.
The $30 million pot comes through a program called DAYS for Duration Addition to electricitY Storage (they kind of stretched the acronym).
DAYS is under the umbrella of ARPA- E, the Energy Department’s office for high risk, high reward projects.
In the latest DAYS development, last week ARPA-E sealed the deal on an award to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of almost $2.8 million to lead an R&D team focusing on thermal energy storage.
The project is called ENDURING for Economic Long-Duration Electricity Storage by Using Low-Cost Thermal Energy Storage.
If you’re thinking concentrating solar power and molten salt thermal energy storage, well, kind of. ENDURING is aimed at overcoming some of the cost and efficiency obstacles posed by molten salt technology.
The DAYS program is quite clear that the aim of pushing the envelope on low cost battery systems is to enable more wind and solar grid integration.