ARPA-E News Thumbnail

Four ARPA-E Awardees Selected for DOE’s Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES) Funding Opportunity

ARPA-E is the Department of Energy’s high-risk, high-potential early-stage R&D agency. ARPA-E’s mission is to help disruptive, impactful energy technologies reach proof-of-concept. At that point, other funding sources get involved to help bring these technologies to market. These sources can include private funding, government agencies, and other aspects of the DOE enterprise.

On September 22, the Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) announced that ARPA-E awardees Echogen, Smartville, Urban Electric Power and Form Energy were four out of nine awardees selected for funding to accelerate the development of LDES technologies. 

Echogen Power Systems was part of ARPA-E’s Duration Addition to electricitY Storage (DAYS) program. DAYS projects develop energy storage systems able to provide power to the grid for durations of 10 to ~100 hours. This capacity creates opportunities to both increase grid resilience and performance and to decrease grid-related emissions. The OCED funding will support further work on Echogen’s Pumped Thermal Energy Storage (PTES) system, originally developed under DAYS. In the PTES system, a heat pump draws electricity from the power grid and converts it into heat stored in inexpensive concrete blocks. This stored energy is then converted back into electricity using a heat engine.

ARPA-E at Echogen

ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Halle Cheeseman, Acting Deputy Director for Commercialization Jonathan Glass and team pictured here with Echogen’s innovative, CO2-based, pumped thermal energy storage system for low-cost, long-duration electrical energy storage.

OCED will also fund Smartville, a spinoff from ARPA-E OPEN 2018 awardee UC San Diego. The Smartville 360TM energy storage system gives retired electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries a second life by using them to build stationary storage centers. ARPA-E’s OPEN program is traditionally held every three years and provides funding for potentially disruptive new technologies across the full spectrum of energy applications.

Learn more about Smartville in the video above from the 2022 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit.

The third ARPA-E awardee to receive OCED funding is Urban Electric Power. The company is a spinoff from ARPA-E’s Grid-Scale Rampable Intermittent Dispatchable Storage (GRIDS) awardee CUNY Energy Institute. GRIDS projects developed storage technologies able to store renewable energy for use at any location on the grid. Urban Electric Power will utilize the OCED funding to demonstrate the viability of its zinc manganese dioxide batteries in large scale and long-duration energy storage systems. The formula for these batteries was developed under GRIDS.

The final ARPA-E awardee funded under this OCED opportunity is another DAYS project, Form Energy. Form Energy, in partnership with Xcel Energy, will deploy two 10MW 100-hour LDES systems at retiring coal plants in Minnesota and Colorado.

It is exciting to see ARPA-E awardees prove their works’ impact and receive the necessary support to get it into the marketplace.

Check out the full OCED press release here for more information.