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California Energy Commission to award up to $11M for non-Li-ion energy storage projects

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a solicitation (GFO-19-305) to fund innovative, non-Li-ion energy storage research projects, including green electrolytic hydrogen systems.

The Commission notes that the state’s statutory requirements (SB-350, SB-100) for low-GHG electricity cannot be met with currently fielded technologies alone, because those technologies do not have the energy density, daily cycle capability, longevity, safety, and price to be viable for the diverse set of applications that will be needed in the State.

The timing is right for supporting emerging technologies that can out-perform existing energy storage technologies because a substantial amount of the energy storage in California was installed in the last few years and will need to be upgraded or replaced in the next 7-15 years. Additionally, as the State makes changes to the electric grid to accommodate higher levels of renewables and a carbon free future by 2045, the need for cost effective and high performing energy storage solutions are expected to increase and be diversified. This means that developing new and emerging technologies now will enable them to be positioned for substantial upcoming market opportunities.

—GFO-19-305

This solicitation aims to fund the development and field testing of emerging energy storage technologies for the purpose of raising the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and accelerating market penetration.

  • Group 1: Develop and validate new and emerging non-Lithium ion energy storage technologies that focus on customer side of the meter applications. This group will focus on supporting energy storage technologies that are in the early stages of development. Group 1 will support the development and field testing of emerging and prototype energy storage systems.

  • Group 2: Develop and validate green electrolytic hydrogen storage systems in customer side of the meter applications with an electricity-in and electricity-out capability. This group will focus specifically on green electrolytic hydrogen systems.

    Group 2 will be open to Applied Research applications of green electrolytic hydrogen as a stationary energy storage system that is comparable in performance to other stationary energy storage systems (such as advanced batteries, flywheels, thermal storage, and compressed air systems). The hydrogen systems must demonstrate an electricity-in and electricity-out solution in customer side of the meter applications (not just generate electrolytic hydrogen).

    Additional services (such as heat, oxygen, compressed air or other non-electricity products) can be proposed as long as they have value to the customer and the primary input and output is electricity and the overall system is projected to be cost effective when it reaches the scale necessary for future commercialization.

The available funding for Group 1 is $9,000,000; available funding for Group 2 is $2,000,000.

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