According to the agreement, ARPA-E, Duke Energy, and EPRI will identify opportunities to expand innovative smart grid developments, grid-scale energy storage, power electronics, and energy efficient cooling technologies, among others. The deal, which has provisions for similar partnerships with other utilities, comes two months after ARPA-E reported that six of its projects have secured more than $100 million in outside private capital investment.
United States Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu explains, “ARPA-E technologies have the potential to lower utility customers’ energy costs and strengthen the reliability of the electric grid. This partnership with the utility industry will move promising technologies from the lab into the marketplace at a much faster pace.”
Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers agrees. “ARPA-E is spurring innovation in a way that could help transform not just the energy sector, but the economy as a whole. Our nation is at an energy crossroads, and we must develop and deploy advanced sources of clean, reliable, affordable energy more rapidly.”
EPRI president and chief executive officer Michael Howard adds: “Technology innovation will be key to success as we embrace the challenge of providing reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity. The ARPA-E agreements will facilitate identifying, testing and deploying these innovations that will benefit electricity customers and strengthen the electric system.”
Under the terms of the agreement, ARPA-E will facilitate the exchange of information between its supported projects, EPRI, and Duke Energy, which can deploy and test ARPA-E technologies at various power plants or wind farms. Duke Energy provides energy to approximately four million United States customers in five states.
The newly developed technologies may also be studied at Duke Energy’s McAlpine substation, a test bed for renewable, grid storage and smart grid technologies, or at the utility’s Envision Center, a smart grid demonstration and testing facility in Erlanger, KY.
EPRI, whose members represent more than 90 percent of the electricity generated in the United States, will offer test-bed facilities at its transmission and distribution research facility in Charlotte, North Carolina and at its Knoxville, Tennessee laboratory, where testing is conducted on consumer electronics, lightings, smart grid components, heating and cooling systems and electric vehicle infrastructure requirements.
For more information, visit http://arpa-e.energy.gov/