Plugging electric and hybrid electric vehicles into the grid represents the ultimate vision of a distributed, decentralized and flexible electricity grid based on clean, renewable electric power generation. That goal that may be closer to becoming reality than many think.
The Dept. of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) Jan. 16 announced that it's establishing public-private R&D partnerships with universities and industry in support of the DOE launching its Advanced Management and Protection of Energy Storage Devices (AMPED) program at a conference in San Francisco.
Funded through the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) the three-year research program entails NREL engineers working with counterparts from Utah State University, Washington University and Eaton Corp. “to optimize utilization, life, and cost of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for electric-drive vehicles (EDVs) through improved battery management and controls,” according to an NREL press release.
Providing a kick-start for AMPED, the DOE is investing more than $7.4 million to fund three projects via ARPA-E funding:
“My hope is that these cutting-edge projects will accelerate the impact of vehicle and grid-scale energy storage in reducing our country’s reliance on imported fuels and improving the safety, security and economic efficiency of our electricity grid.”
“This latest round of ARPA-E projects seek to address the remaining challenges in energy storage technologies, which could revolutionize the way Americans store and use energy in electric vehicles, the grid and beyond, while also potentially improving the access to energy for the U.S. military at forward operating bases in remote areas,” Secretary of Energy Steven Chu stated while announcing the program in August.
For insight into the NREL's work on EDV and its R&D facilities check out its Advanced Vehicles & Fuels Research: Energy Storage web page.
An experienced, independent journalist, editor and researcher, Andrew has crisscrossed the globe while reporting on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social and environmental entrepreneurship, renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. He studied geology at CU, Boulder, has an MBA in finance from Pace University, and completed a certificate program in international governance for biodiversity at UN University in Japan.