US state funds storage research

The state of Washington has awarded $14.3m in matching grants to three local electric utilities to lead energy storage projects that have funding from the US Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

PNNL is located in eastern Washington.

The three projects are:

  • Avista Utilities of Spokane, $3.2m. Its project includes installing a UniEnergy Technologies (technology licensed from PNNL) all-vanadium redox flow battery in Pullman to support Washington State University’s smart campus operations. PNNL will collaborate with WSU to develop a control strategy for this project.
  • Puget Sound Energy of Bellevue, $3.8m. Its project includes installing a lithium-ion battery, and analysis of costs and benefits.
  • Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1 of Everett, $7.3m. Its project includes installing an all-vanadium redox flow battery and a lithium-ion battery. This project builds on experience gained and equipment and technologies installed with a DOE Smart Grid Investment Grant.

"We're using our Clean Energy Fund to position Washington State as a leader in energy storage, and work with utilities to develop technologies and strategies that will move the market for renewables forward," says Governor Jay Inslee.

"Delivering operational value for our utilities is crucial if we're going to successfully develop and deploy clean energy technologies that save energy and reduce energy costs, reduce carbon emissions, and increase our energy independence," he adds.

To support these projects, PNNL has worked with the state, utilities, technology companies and university researchers to develop detailed descriptions of the various ways energy storage can increase renewable energy use, and improve grid efficiency and resiliency.

 The utilities will consult these descriptions, called use cases, as they implement and evaluate their individual projects.

PNNL will also provide analytical and technical support for the projects. PNNL will conduct benefits analysis, compile field data needed for use cases that help utilities and regulators understand the long-term benefits of new technologies, design plans for acceptance testing and strengthen control strategies