CleanTech Strategies Selected by U.S. Department of Energy to Advance Innovations in Flow Batteries, with Close Industry Collaboration

DOE selects CTS for $5 million award to support collaborative R&D by industry partners and research institutions to accelerate long duration energy storage by flow batteries.

SEATTLE, April 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Clean technology expert firm CleanTech Strategies (CTS) has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Electricity (OE) as one of three selectees to receive a $5 million award each to advance energy storage innovations to help deliver clean, affordable electricity to Americans. The DOE OE awards are through the Storage Innovations 2030: Technology Liftoff funding opportunity announcement.

Based in Seattle, Washington.

CTS appreciates DOE OE’s further support of flow battery innovations, building on its sustained efforts for two decades.

CTS, partnering with the Flow Battery Industry Group (FBIG), a program of Battery Council International (BCI), will collaborate with U.S. research institutions to plan, manage, and report on applied research and development (R&D) to accelerate the maturation of flow battery technologies into cost-effective and reliable long duration energy storage (LDES).

DOE OE Assistant Secretary Gene Rodrigues made the selection announcements at the Long Duration Energy Storage Council Summit on April 8, 2024, held at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) in Washington, D.C., with the Long Duration Energy Storage Council (LDESC), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and the DOE OE.

CTS President Russ Weed was privileged to join the summit, and commented afterwards: “LDES is in the early phase of adoption, with growing interest from the private sector including utilities, independent power producers, and project and company capital; as well as critical ‘priming of the pump’ funding from the public sector including under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. CTS very much appreciates DOE OE’s further support of flow battery innovations under the Storage Innovations 2030 program, which builds on its sustained efforts for two decades.”

In the project, CTS, member companies of FBIG, BCI, and several leading research institutions including Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), EPRI, and another U.S. national lab will conduct the applied R&D on targeted topics to solve key challenges to the maturation of flow batteries into LDES meeting the needs of the U.S. grid. This includes putting flow batteries on a pathway to achieving the DOE’s U.S Energy Storage Grand Challenge Roadmap goal of a levelized cost of less than $0.05 per kilowatt-hour in a 10+ hour system output by 2030, now less than 6 years away. 

The project team draws on the extensive knowledge and experience of expert personnel from CTS, BCI, and each of the participating FBIG companies. The companies are comprised of flow battery system product developers and manufacturers, membrane developers and manufacturers, and subject matter experts and engineering firms, including CTS, Stryten Energy, CMBlu Energy, Invinity Energy Systems, BioZen Batteries, ENTEK International, Ramboll, and Polypore International. 

FBIG was established in 2023 as part of BCI in collaboration with CTS, and has grown into an industry-leading platform for industry collaboration and advancement. FBIG is open to all companies participating in the flow battery industry. Interested companies can join FBIG by contacting CTS and/or BCI. This week at its 2024 Convention in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, BCI is celebrating 100 years of battery industry leadership.

The project’s applied R&D areas include these key technical and non-technical areas:

–          system and component lifetime testing   –  U.S. supply chain

–          membrane testing and regulation            –  power electronics standards

–          safety standards                                      –  utility and system operator modeling

–          technoeconomic analysis of systems    –  private financing in conjunction with tax
           and deployments                                     incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act

Each of these applied R&D areas aligns with the “Flow Batteries Technology Strategy Assessment” released by the DOE in mid-2023 as part of its Long Duration Storage Shot.

From the project’s inception, CTS, the FBIG member companies, and BCI have made it foundational that they build a durable research partnership. The project participants well-understand that the $5 million of DOE OE funding, matched with $1.25 million in cost share collaboratively committed in equal shares by the participating FBIG member companies, is a beginning of the collaborative work to be done, not an end. 

The collaboration between CTS, the FBIG member companies, BCI, and the research institutions on the applied R&D will seek to leverage as much as possible the work to date in each area by industry, DOE, and the U.S. national labs. The project participants have deep knowledge of that work and seasoned understanding of the R&D challenges still to be solved. CTS expects there will be a multiplier effect from this leveraging, accelerating the project’s collaborative applied R&D efforts and thereby the maturation of flow batteries into cost-effective and reliable LDES.

About CleanTech Strategies LLC:

Established in 2018 and headquartered in Seattle, Washington, CleanTech Strategies (CTS) is a subject matter expert firm focused on energy storage, power electronics, microgrids, renewables, and advanced materials. Now a team of four experts, we draw on many decades of industry experience, as well as business, legal, and engineering professional training. Our customers include energy storage system and subsystem product developers, U.S. national labs, non-governmental policy organizations, national consulting firms, and accredited conference companies.

In 2022, CTS proposed the creation of a U.S.-based flow battery industry group and after discussions with a U.S. national lab, approached the long-standing Battery Council International (BCI) trade association to establish the Flow Battery Industry Group (FBIG). CTS has collaborated closely with flow battery product developers and other industry stakeholders to join and take active roles in FBIG, and greatly values close collaboration with BCI as both a leading and diversifying energy storage industry organization.

CTS takes an “all of the above” approach to energy storage, and is also active in the development of companies and products providing other types of electrochemical energy storage including lithium and sodium, and mechanical and thermal energy storage. CTS President Russ Weed is an early and strong advocate of the utility of segmenting the stationary energy storage market into short, medium, long, and seasonal needs of electric grids and microgrids, and applying to those needs in a differentiated manner the energy storage technologies with the best-suited capabilities.

Press Contact

Russ Weed
President, CleanTech Strategies LLC
[email protected]

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