Arpa-E Builds the Next Generation of Battery Storage

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US agency reaches ‘holy grail’ of battery storage sought by Elon Musk and Gates

The Guardian, March 3, 2016. Image credit:

A US government agency says it has attained the “holy grail” of energy – the next-generation system of battery storage, that has has been hotly pursued by the likes of Bill Gates and Elon Musk.

If that’s the case, Arpa-E has come out ahead of Gates and Musk in the multi-billion-dollar race to build the next generation battery for power companies and home storage.

The battery storage systems developed with Arpa-E’s support are on the verge of transforming America’s electrical grid, a transformation that could unfold within the next five to 10 years, Williams said.

The most promising developments are in the realm of large-scale energy storage systems, which electricity companies need to put in place to bring more solar and wind power on to the grid.

She said projects funded by Arpa-E had the potential to transform utility-scale storage, and expand the use of micro-grids by the military and for disaster relief. Projects were also developing faster and more efficient super conductors, and relying on new materials beyond current lithium-ion batteries.

The companies incubated at Arpa-E have developed new designs for batteries, and new chemistries, which are rapidly bringing down the costs of energy storage, she said.

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