According to the Associated Press,the US Department of Energy has announced an investment of$325 million in the development of new batteries to convert solar and wind energy into 24-hour stable electricity.This funds will be allocated to 15 projects in 17 states and a Native American tribe located in Minnesota.
Batteries are increasingly being used to store excess renewable energy for future use when there is no sunlight or wind.The US Department of Energy stated that these projects will protect more communities from the impact of power outages and make energy more reliable and affordable.
The new funds are used for”long-term”energy storage,which means it can last longer than the typical four hours of lithium-ion batteries.From sunset to sunrise,or store energy for several days at a time.Long term battery storage is like an”energy storage account”on rainy days.Regions with rapid growth in solar and wind energy are usually most interested in long-term energy storage.In the United States,places such as California,New York,and Hawaii are very interested in this technology.
The following are some projects funded through the US Department of Energy’s bipartisan infrastructure law of 2021:
——A project led by Xcel Energy in collaboration with long-term battery manufacturer Form Energy will deploy two 10 megawatt battery storage installations at closed coal-fired power plants in Becker,Minnesota and Pueblo,Colorado,capable of operating for 100 hours.
——The California Valley Children’s Hospital in Madeira is an underserved community,and a project at the hospital will install a battery system to increase reliability for acute care medical centers facing potential power outages from wildfires,floods,and heatwaves.The project is led by the California Energy Commission in collaboration with the Faraday Microgrid.
——The Second Life Intelligence System is planned to be implemented in Georgia,California,South Carolina,and Louisiana,using retired but still usable electric vehicle batteries to provide backup power for elderly centers,affordable housing,and electric vehicle chargers.
——Another project developed by battery diagnosis company Rejoule will also use retired electric vehicle batteries at three locations in Petaluma,California;A worker training center in Santa Fe and Red Lake countries,New Mexico,not far from the Canadian border.
David Klein,Deputy Secretary of Energy for Infrastructure,stated that the funded projects will demonstrate that these technologies can operate on a large scale,help utility companies plan long-term energy storage,and begin reducing costs.Cheap batteries will eliminate the biggest obstacle to the transformation of renewable energy.