Construction has begun on a national grid energy storage facility intended to “boost clean energy adoption and make the nation’s power grid more resilient, secure and flexible,” according to the Department of Energy.
What’s happening: The DOE’s Office of Electricity and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are building the $75 million Grid Storage Launchpad research-and-development lab in Richland, Washington, to store wind- and solar-generated energy.
- The stored power “must be integrated onto the nation’s electric grid when it is needed to help make the grid more resilient, secure, reliable and flexible,” according to an article in Washington’s Tri-City Herald.
- At the facility, which is set to start operations in 2025, scientists will test new grid storage technologies under simulated, realistic conditions, according to the Office of Electricity.
Why it’s important: “The Grid Storage Launchpad facility will accelerate the development and deployment of long-duration, low-cost grid energy storage,” said Office of Electricity Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Gil Bindewald.
- “Energy storage is a critical step on the path to getting more renewable power on the system, supporting a growing fleet of electric vehicles, making our grid more reliable and securing our clean energy future. Breakthroughs at this exciting facility will help provide clean, affordable and resilient energy to everyone, everywhere, anytime.”
The NAM’s view: “In its advocacy for the infrastructure bill, the NAM pushed for aggressive investments in grid modernization, and the Grid Storage Launchpad is an exciting step toward a resilient and secure grid,” said NAM Director of Energy and Resources Policy Chris Morris. “We are encouraged to see the progress being made at PNNL and look forward to grid solutions created through the Launchpad initiative.”