The California Energy Commission (CEC) has shown its support for energy storage by awarding $845,894 from its Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program to energy-storage research projects.

EnerVault Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif., will receive $476,428 to demonstrate the commercial viability of the company's latest battery energy-storage system with a dual-tracking photovoltaic system. The project will develop a battery system that will be expandable to utility-scale applications and integrate with renewable energy resources.

EnerVault will also work with other project partners to install and evaluate the system in Snelling, Calif. The total cost of the project is $9.53 million. The CEC’s grant will supplement a $4.76 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) award that EnerVault, along with project partner Ktech Corp., received from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). EnerVault is providing $4.29 million for the project.

In addition, Fremont-based Amber Kinetics Inc. will receive $369,466 to research, develop and demonstrate a utility-scale flywheel energy-storage system. The project's total cost is $10 million. The CEC’s grant is the cost share for the company's ARRA award of $3.7 million from the DOE. Amber Kinetics and other partners are contributing $5.94 million for the project.

"As we strive to reach the state's renewable energy goals, research in energy-storage systems will reap significant benefits for California,” says CEC Chairman Dr. Robert Weisenmiller. “Energy-storage systems will improve efficiency and reliability in the electricity supply and facilitate the integration of clean, intermittent, renewable resources such as solar and wind.”

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