US establishes Joint Center for Energy Storage Research to build better batteries

The federal government will award up to $120 million over five years to establish an Energy Storage Hub led by Chicago’s Argonne National Laboratory.

 

A bevy of bigwigs gathered last week to announce that the federal government will award up to $120 million over five years to establish an Energy Storage Hub, to be called the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR). The team will be led by Chicago’s Argonne National Laboratory, and will combine the R&D expertise of five DOE national laboratories, five universities, and four private firms in an effort to achieve revolutionary advances in battery performance, a critical part of President Obama’s strategy to reduce America’s reliance on foreign oil and lower energy costs for US consumers. 

“This is a partnership between world leading scientists and world leading companies, committed to ensuring that the advanced battery technologies the world needs will be invented and built right here in America,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.  “Based on the tremendous advances that have been made in the past few years, there are very good reasons to believe that advanced battery technologies can and will play an increasingly valuable role in strengthening America’s energy and economic security by reducing our oil dependence, upgrading our aging power grid, and allowing us to take greater advantage of intermittent energy sources like wind and solar.”

“This new Hub brings together, under a single organizational roof, the world’s leading scientists, engineers and manufacturers in energy storage and provides them with the tools, resources and market reach necessary to produce major breakthroughs,” said Senator Dick Durbin.  “The large-scale, innovative research and transformational new battery systems that will result from this venture will mean more effective, lower cost and longer life energy storage technologies with real world applications for anything that can use a rechargeable battery.”

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is providing $5 million through his Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction plan to help build the state-of-the-art JCESR facility on the Argonne National Laboratory campus in Chicago. “Illinois is the birthplace of innovations that have changed the world, including the web browser, the cell phone and the ultrasound,” said the Governor. “This innovative center will attract the best minds from across our state and country to turn cutting-edge scientific research into new companies that will create more American jobs and revolutionize our energy economy.”

“Since taking office, I have been focused on making Chicago the electric vehicle and batteries capital of the nation,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This includes creating incentives to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles, attracting companies to manufacture electric vehicles, and now, working with Argonne to make sure that Chicago is at the epicenter of research on this subject.”

 

Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory
Source: Department of Energy