In a decarbonized, electrified future, next-generation batteries will improve the reliability and resilience of the electrical grid while allowing increased integration of renewable energy. These batteries will also be able to provide backup power during or after natural disasters, like ice storms, extreme heat waves, hurricanes, and more.
A new facility called the Grid Storage Launchpad (GSL) is opening on the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory-Richland (PNNL) campus in 2024 and is funded by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity. GSL will help accelerate the development of future battery technology with increased reliability and lower cost. Research in the new facility will complement the efforts of the PNNL experts across the street at the Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center, where research is being done to improve the resiliency of the country’s vast electrical grid.
“GSL will allow us to take new technologies from development of basic materials to testing of 100 kilowatt systems under real-world conditions,” said Vince Sprenkle, an advisor at PNNL who leads the PNNL’s energy storage research efforts. “Energy storage is needed to improve resilience and reliability in a decarbonized energy system, and GSL will get us there.”
PNNL researchers are already testing new battery technologies, creating models to investigate new materials for more efficient and longer-lasting storage, and developing strategies so that new energy storage systems can be deployed safely.