This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 13, 2003

California and DOE to Support Electric Energy Storage Projects

The California Energy Commission (CEC) announced in late July that it will work in partnership with DOE to sponsor research and development projects related to electric energy storage. The CEC expects proposals to include such technologies as flywheels, advanced batteries, and mini- or micro-pumped hydropower systems. CEC's Public Interest Energy Research program will provide up to $5 million for the projects, and DOE's Energy Storage Systems program will offer consultation and in-kind services. Each project is expected to cost about $2 million. Proposals are due September 30th. See the CEC press release and the full request for proposals.

Recent news on electrical energy storage technologies has come mainly from the lithium battery developers, as the batteries continue to advance commercially. Lithium Technology Corporation, which calls itself "an early production stage rechargeable lithium battery manufacturer," has racked up a number of recent orders, including an order from the United Kingdom military for ten 46-volt batteries, each containing 11 60-amp-hour cells. The company also claims to have orders from an electric vehicle developer, a large car company, and from Penn State University, which is preparing for the 2004 Future Truck Competition. Meanwhile, ZAP, a marketer of electric vehicles, has agreed to distribute lithium-ion polymer rechargeable batteries that can power portable computers for up to 10 hours. ZAP claims the batteries, from Valence Technology Corporation, also have potential in larger-scale applications. See the press releases from Lithium Technology Corporation and ZAP.