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Three Washington state utilities have been awarded $14.3 million in matching grants from the state's Clean Energy Fund to lead energy storage projects with ties to federally funded research at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

According to the PNNL, the three battery projects will integrate renewable energy and improve the power grid. They comprise the following:
  • Spokane-based Avista Utilities received $3.2 million. Its project includes installing a UniEnergy Technologies (UET) flow battery in Pullman, Wash., to support Washington State University’s smart campus operations. The PNNL will collaborate with WSU to develop a control strategy for this project. Avista is participating in the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project and previously received a DOE Smart Grid Investment Grant.
  • Bellevue-based Puget Sound Energy (PSE) received $3.8 million. Its project includes installing a lithium-ion battery. As part of a previous project that was jointly funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, Primus Power, Puget Sound Energy and the DOE, the PNNL analyzed the costs and benefits associated with installing energy storage at various sites within PSE's service territory.
  • Everett-based Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) was awarded $7.3 million. Its project includes installing a UET flow battery and a lithium-ion battery. This project builds on experience gained as well as the equipment and technologies installed with a DOE Smart Grid Investment Grant.
"We're using our Clean Energy Fund to position Washington state as a leader in energy storage and work with utilities to develop technologies and strategies that will move the market for renewables forward," says Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. "Delivering operational value for our utilities is crucial if we're going to successfully develop and deploy clean energy technologies that save energy and reduce energy costs, reduce carbon emissions and increase our energy independence."

Results from the state-based demonstrations are expected to contribute to national energy storage efforts, notes the PNNL.

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