DOE's Office of Basic Energy Sciences has published an extensive report on Basic Research Needs for Electrical Energy Storage. This report is based on a Workshop held April 2-4, 2007, to identify basic research needs and opportunities underlying batteries, capacitors, and related storage technologies. It's focus is on new or emerging science challenges with potential for significant long-term impact on the efficient storage and release of electrical energy.
Dr. Stan Atcitty, power electronics program manager at Sandia, received the 2007 Technical Excellence Award, of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). He was cited for "his technical accomplishments, his personal leadership qualities, and contributions to the nation's energy security challenges".
Dr. Atcitty is an internationally recognized expert in the area of power conversion systems research and development and the system-level performance of electrochemical capacitors. He also supervised work that won DOE's Energy Storage and Power Electronics program two prestigious R&D 100 awards.
American Electric Power commissioned a 7.2MWh sodium sulfur battery for peak shaving at a distribution substation in Charleston, WV in July 2006. This is the first U.S. commercial application of a large-scale, advanced storage system on a distribution grid.
The facility is expected to defer the need for a substation upgrade by six to seven years. AEP's partners for the $5M project are NGK and S&C Electric. DOE's Energy Storage Program has funded the generic system design, an essential component of the endeavor. As of December 2007, the system has performed exactly as expected.
Based on the success of their first 1.2 MW battery, AEP has announced the purchase of three new NAS batteries totaling 6 MW. Batteries will be used for substation and distribution support as well as to offset intermittent wind generation.
AEP plans to deploy 25 MW of storage by the end of the decade and an ambitious 1000 MW by 2020. Besides NAS batteries, this may include flow batteries, pumped hydro, and other advanced storage technologies. (AEP Press release).