Best hope yet for energy storage? New lab helps with commercialization

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By: SGN Staff

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Quick Take: I serve on an advisory board to a national laboratory. Over and over, I see technologies make it out of the lab only to falter in the so-called "valley of death." They work fine at the "bench-scale." But they can't be scaled up for production at mass quantities. Or they can be scaled up but the private sector refuses to adopt it because it isn't "proven."

 

Here is a partnership between DNV KEMA, one of the world's top testing companies, and a New York non-profit to provide some of those missing pieces. Yes, it's great to invent new concepts. But it's even better to get those ideas out into the private sector where they can make a difference. - By Jesse Berst

 

NY-BEST, DNV KEMA partner on Battery and Energy Storage Testing & Commercialization Center

Partners to invest $23 million for Center to accelerate commercial deployment of advanced battery and energy storage technologies

 

The New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) and DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability, a leading global energy consultancy and authority in testing, inspection and certification, outlined their new partnership whereby nearly $23 million will be invested to build and grow the new Battery and Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Testing and Commercialization Center in Rochester, New York.

 

Under the partnership agreement, DNV KEMA will provide investments of up to $16 million, including re-location of its existing energy storage testing operations from its laboratory facility in Pennsylvania to the new Center at Eastman Business Park in Rochester. NY-BEST will provide the initial investment of $6.9 million from State grant funds into capital facility improvements and purchase of additional advanced testing equipment for the Center.

 

The new Test and Commercialization Center will provide the key missing elements necessary for product commercialization and growth in the energy storage business, including a suite of test, validation and independent certification capabilities to accelerate commercial deployment of energy storage technologies. These capabilities—while vital to the commercialization of emerging technologies—are difficult for individual companies to procure, and not presently available in reasonable geographic proximity or at reasonable cost. Through their partnership, NY-BEST and DNV KEMA will deploy shared resources to build a world class testing and commercialization facility and establish New York State as a powerful beacon to the world relative to developing and manufacturing advanced energy storage solutions.

The BEST Test and Commercialization Center will be a unique asset for the energy storage industry, offering testing from single cells to megawatt systems. Services will include product development, performance validation and certification testing along with a wide range of environmental testing capabilities and battery lifetime testing. These services will accelerate the adoption and growth of energy storage technologies.

 

Work is underway to construct the Center which will be located at Building 308 of the Eastman Business Park. Construction is slated to be completed by fall of 2013, with the Center opening planned for December 2013.

 

A recent Economic Impact Study commissioned by NY-BEST estimated that the energy storage sector currently employs approximately 3,000 people in New York State and is responsible for more than $600 million in annual global sales. The study found that the sector could grow more than 11,400 new jobs by 2020 and 43,000 new jobs by 2030. The BEST Testing and Commercialization Center will serve as a key catalyst and magnet for attracting and growing the battery and energy storage industry in New York.

 

In December 2011, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $3.5 million in State funding for NY-BEST toward the creation of a battery and energy storage product commercialization center at Eastman Business Park. The funds were awarded by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council as part of the Governor’s competitive regional economic development process. NY-BEST has received an additional $3.4 million in State grant funds for the Center from NYSERDA bringing the total State funding for the project to $6.9 million.

 

Jesse Berst is the founder and Chief Analyst of SGN and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition.

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