The Department of Energy is making nearly $350 million available for emerging long-duration energy storage (LDES) demonstration projects capable of delivering electricity for 10 to 24 hours or longer. 

Funded in part by the 2021 infrastructure law, the funding aims to advance new renewable energy technologies, make it easier for customers and communities to more effectively integrate grid storage, boost grid resilience, and expand U.S. leadership in energy storage. 

DOE said that existing energy storage technologies “are not sufficiently scaled or affordable” to support the broad use of renewable energy on the electric power grid. 

The LDES effort aims to cut the cost of grid-scale energy storage by 90% for systems that deliver 10+ hours of duration within the decade.

DOE said that cheaper and more efficient storage will make it easier to capture and store renewable clean energy for use when energy generation is unavailable or lower than demand – for instance, so renewable sources generated during the daytime like solar-generated power can be used at night or nuclear energy generated during times of low demand can be used when demand increases. 

DOE said that the LDES will consider all types of technologies, including electrochemical, mechanical, thermal, chemical carriers, or any combination that has the potential to meet duration and cost targets for grid flexibility.

The LDES Demonstrations Program will be managed by DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations and will fund up to 11 demonstration projects. DOE said it will fund up to 50% of the cost of each project.

The program aims to fund projects that will overcome existing technical and institutional barriers for full-scale deployment of LDES systems by focusing on different technology types for a diverse set of regions.  

Letters of Intent are due by December 15, and full applications are due by March 3. Additional funding opportunities may follow both to validate and accelerate commercialization of LDES technologies. More information is available here.

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