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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded up to $120 million over five years to a multi-partner team led by Argonne National Laboratory to establish a new batteries and energy-storage hub that will help develop new technology to take greater advantage of intermittent renewable energy sources like wind energy and solar power.

The hub, which will be known as the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), will combine the research and development of five DOE national laboratories, five universities and four private firms in an effort to achieve advances in battery performance.

"Based on the tremendous advances that have been made in the past few years, there are very good reasons to believe that advanced battery technologies can and will play an increasingly valuable role in strengthening America’s energy and economic security by reducing our oil dependence, upgrading our aging power grid and allowing us to take greater advantage of intermittent energy sources like wind and solar," notes DOE Secretary Steven Chu.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is providing $5 million through the state’s Jobs Now! capital construction plan to help build the JCESR facility, which will be located on the Argonne National Laboratory campus in suburban Chicago. Additionally, the governor has committed to working with the state’s General Assembly to provide an additional $30 million in future capital funding for the building.

JCESR will be directed by George W. Crabtree, senior scientist at Argonne; distinguished fellow and associate division director; distinguished professor of physics, electrical and mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and an internationally recognized leader in energy research.

Other national labs partnering with Argonne include Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. University partners include Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois-Chicago, the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, and the University of Michigan. Four industrial partners have also joined: Dow Chemical Co., Applied Materials Inc., Johnson Controls Inc. and Clean Energy Trust.


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