Steven Chu, U.S.
Energy Secretary
Washington, DC, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- March 3, 2010 - U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced the availability of $100 million in Recovery Act funding for smart grid and other innovative “clean energy” research projects.

Among these the Grid-Scale Rampable Intermittent Dispatchable Storage (GRIDS) focus area is aimed at developing new technologies to enable the widespread deployment of cost effective grid-scale energy storage. In particular the program will focus on developing energy storage technologies to balance the short duration variability in renewable generation, and will seek to develop revolutionary new storage systems that provide energy, cost, and cycle life comparable to pumped hydropower, but which are modular and can be widely implemented at any location across the power grid. Both proof-of-concept storage component projects focused on validating new, over-the-horizon electrical energy storage concepts, and advanced system prototypes that address critical shortcomings of existing grid-scale energy storage technologies will be considered.

By focusing on technology prototyping and proof-of-concept R&D efforts, this program will complement other Department of Energy grid-scale energy storage efforts, including other smart grid stimulus funded projects (see $620 million for smart grid demonstration and energy storage projects in U.S.).

Ultimately, technologies developed through this program will be scalable to the megawatt and megawatt-hour levels of power and energy capacity.

The other two areas of focus for the funding are advanced power electronics and the development of innovative thermodevices to improve building energy efficiency.

“This is about unleashing the American innovation machine to solve the energy and climate challenge, while creating new jobs, new industries and new exports for America’s workers,” said Secretary Chu.

This is the third round of funding from the ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy) program and concept papers are due by April 2.