DOE releases funding for energy storage, marine energy

The Department of Energy is continuing its energy funding opportunities with up to $30 million for advanced energy storage.

Also, the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is establishing a new program to fund wave, tidal and current system technology with up to $23 million.

The energy storage program, administered by Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, was given the name Duration Addition to electricity Storage, or DAYS.

Project teams should enable grid-based energy storage providing energy for 10 to 100 hours and should be deployable to any location.

“Building the grid of tomorrow will require new tools and technologies to ensure Americans have access to affordable and secure energy,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “At DOE, we are peering over the energy horizon and identifying the key technologies we need to support the power system of the future. These new storage options will offer us the opportunity to make the grid more resilient while enabling greater integration of our domestic energy resources.”

The funding opportunity is open to a range of storage technology choices, including thermal, mechanical, electrochemical, chemical, and others. Driving the challenge are an aggressive set of cost targets, siting, power output and duty cycle requirements.

The marine energy program is intended to cut capital costs and shorten the deployment timelines of marine energy devices.

The funding covers several areas, including:

·      Early Stage Device Design Research — This area concentrates on the early-stage development and evaluation of next-generation wave, tidal and current systems. The focus will be on pre-commercial, scaled-prototype systems with high potential that can be proven through numerical simulations and testing validation. This will provide developers with information that can lower costs the reductions in design iterations, and optimized configurations and locations for their devices.

·      Controls and Power Take-Off Design Integration and Testing — This area supports early-stage design of PTO and control systems. The design integration of PTOs and associated control systems is important for the marine sector as studies have shown improvements in advanced controls could provide large increases in energy capture. Projects are expected to build and test PTOs with an operational real-time control system in a laboratory and/or tank setting.

·      Dissemination of Environmental Data and Analyses to Facilitate the Marine Energy Regulatory Process — This area supports efforts to more efficiently synthesize and communicate advances in the science and environmental impacts of marine development. Per DOE, this information needs to be made widely available in a consolidated, organized format to inform and facilitate federal and state regulatory processes.

“Research will address fundamental scientific and engineering challenges of generating power from dynamic, low-velocity and high-density waves and currents, while surviving in corrosive ocean environments that are intensified by high costs and lengthy permitting processes,” according to a DOE statement.

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