Car battery maker EnerDel nabs early toehold in grid storage

By Camille Ricketts in GreenBeat, November 30 2009

The success of a cleaner, more efficient super grid hinges on the development of large-capacity storage. That’s a message we heard repeatedly at our GreenBeat 2009 event earlier this month, from investors Vinod Khosla and Peter Wagner, as well as from Al Gore and Innovation Competition winner Locust Storage. Now, EnerDel, a subsidiary of Ener1, known for making batteries for hybrid electric cars, says it will take a stab at the problem.

The U.S. Department of Energy and utility Portland General Electric have tapped EnerDel to use its lithium-ion battery designs to store energy in five 1-megawatt power systems that serve 400 homes surrounding Portland, Ore. during peak energy periods. The DOE will chip in about $90 million toward the $178 million project, which aims to take the edge off peak demand and provide reliable backup energy when solar and wind sources cut out.

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