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American-Made Challenges

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Energy Storage Innovations Prize

This DOE Office of Electricity-sponsored competition tasks innovators to submit transformative approaches to grid-scale energy storage.

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stage:
Winner Announcement
prize:
$300,000

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Summary

Overview

Overview

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity is launching the American-Made Energy Storage Innovations 2030 Prize. This prize aims to gain insight on innovative, emerging, and next-generation energy storage technologies to inform DOE’s strategy on transformative storage technologies to accelerate grid modernization and decarbonization. Competitors will propose their grid-scale, long duration-capable energy storage technology innovation with a written summary and accompanying 90-second video. Submissions will be judged on the innovation’s quality including a pathway to the Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC)’s levelized cost of storage (LCOS) 2030 goals, strength of plan, and other unique benefits (supply chain considerations, equity, etc.). 

It is vital to note that this competition is focusing only on emerging energy storage technologies. Established technologies that are being considered as part of the SI Framework effort are ineligible to participate in this prize. See the official rules sections on Eligibility and Background for detailed descriptions of the ineligible technology categories and expanded rationale. 

 

Prizes  

The Energy Storage Innovations Prize offers a total prize pool of $300,000 in cash prizes. There will be up to ten winners total, with up to five Storage Innovations Champion winners receiving $50,000 each and up to five Storage Innovations Finalist winners receiving $10,000 each. The prize money is cash with no restrictions to its use. In addition to the cash prize, proposed technologies of some or all winning teams may be included in a future Report to Congress, an Office of Electricity presentation focusing on the state of energy storage innovation in the United States. Inclusion in this report, and the extent to which winners may be featured, is not guaranteed and dependent on intergovernmental review and approval. Winners are announced publicly, but may opt out of inclusion in the 2023 Storage Innovations Report. 

 

Submission

Final submissions will include:

  • A 90-second video introducing your team and innovation
  • A 3000-word maximum narrative that answers four questions:
    • What is your storage technology innovation?
    • How does your technology support DOE's goal for cost-effective long-duration energy storage?
    • What challenges are associated with the development and deployment of your technology?
    • How do you plan to further develop or commercialize your technology?
  • Summary PowerPoint slide

Guidelines

This prize is focused on grid-scale, long-duration-capable energy storage innovations that are distinct from those in DOE’s separate Storage Innovations Framework effort. The following Table lists examples of technologies of interest for this prize competition. Other technologies beyond those listed in this Table may be of interest.

 

TypeTechnology
Electrochemical Li-metal
Na-metal
Other metals (e.g., Mg, Al)
Reversible fuel cells
ElectromechanicalLiquid air energy storage
Flywheels
Geomechanical
Pumped storage hydropower
Gravitational
ThermalPhase change
Low-temperature storage
High-temperature sensible heat
Thermal-photovoltaic
ChemicalChemical carriers (e.g., ammonia)
Hydrogen
Flexible buildingsThermostatically controlled loads
Building mass
Ice and chilled water
Organic phase change material
Salt hydrate
Thermochemical
Desiccant
Flexible generationFront-of-the-meter flexibility and hybrids
Behind-the-meter hybrids

 

DOE is already spending significant resources analyzing the Storage Innovations Framework-focused technologies. The following Table lists the technologies of focus under the framework, which are not of interest for this prize.

 

Lithium-ion batteries

Lead batteries

Sodium-ion batteries

Flow batteries

Zinc batteries

Compressed-air energy storage

Supercapacitors

 

 

The purpose of this prize is to highlight innovative, disruptive ideas that accelerate next-generation energy storage. If your technology falls within or adjacent to one of the technology families listed in the Table above, your submission must clearly differentiate how your innovation is significantly different from the historical or projected trajectory for that technology. 

 

Please review the official rules  for the complete application process and instructions for competing.

 

If you want to receive updates on the prize or have any questions, please subscribe by using the contact feature on the HeroX platform or message us directly at storageinnovations@nrel.gov.

Timeline
Updates13

Challenge Updates

Watch the Energy Storage Innovations Prize Winner Pitches

March 24, 2023, 8:41 a.m. PDT by Prize Administrator

On Wednesday, March 1, our 10 Energy Storage Innovations Prize winning teams joined us to present quick pitch introductions to their technology innovations. Watch this video to learn more about the winning teams:


Congratulations to the Winners of the Prize!

Feb. 27, 2023, 9:18 a.m. PST by NREL Prize Administrator

The successful Energy Storage Innovations Prize has drawn to a close. Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity (OE) announced the ten winners of the inaugural American-Made Energy Storage Innovations Prize!

These teams were selected out of more than 50 entries to this prize for their novel and demonstrable approaches to energy storage. Submissions to this competition were judged on the innovation’s quality, including a pathway to DOE’s levelized cost of storage goals, strength of plan, and other unique benefits, such as supply chain considerations and equity. 

Five “Storage Innovations Champions” will be awarded $50,000 each, and five “Storage Innovations Finalists” will be awarded $10,000 each, for contributing their innovative energy storage technologies. In addition to their cash awards, winning teams will have the opportunity to be included in a future Report to Congress focusing on the state of energy storage in the USA.

Storage Innovations Champions:

  • Cryostone, Houston, TX
  • RCAM Technologies, Los Angeles, CA
  • Gravity Power LLC, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Electrified Thermal Solutions, Medford, MA
  • KineticCore Solutions, Loveland, CO

Storage Innovations Finalists:

  • Rondo Energy, Alameda, CA
  • Thermal Battery Corporation, Cambridge, MA
  • THEMES LLC, Houston, TX
  • NerG Solutions, Knoxville, TN
  • Cache Energy, Champaign, IL

Learn more about each of the Champion and Finalist proposals at a virtual networking event on Wednesday, March 1 at 12 p.m. EST. During this event, each winning team will have 5-10 minutes to introduce their emerging technology proposal to industry experts and potential collaborators. Register for this event.


Winner Announcement Coming Soon!

Feb. 14, 2023, 10:27 a.m. PST by NREL Prize Administrator

The Office of Electricity is looking forward to announcing the Energy Storage Innovations Prize winners during an upcoming Conversations in Energy Storage Integration event hosted at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

This announcement will take place on Monday, February 27 at 9 a.m. MST. Register to watch the announcement live

Champions and Finalists of the Energy Storage Innovation Prize are also invited to showcase their winning ideas as part of a virtual networking event on Wednesday, March 1 at 10 a.m. MST. During this event, each winning team will have 5-10 minutes to introduce their emerging technology proposal to industry experts and potential collaborators. Register for this event

We encourage all prize participants to be prepared for this exciting opportunity. Prize administrators will reach out to winning teams immediately after the winner announcement to coordinate participation. 


Last Chance to Submit Your Energy Storage Innovation!

Dec. 13, 2022, 10:05 a.m. PST by Prize Administrator

Don’t miss this chance to win up to $50,000 for your innovative technology idea. The Energy Storage Innovations Prize deadline is this Friday, December 16. Submissions are due by 5:00 p.m. ET, however, we highly recommend getting all materials submitted before then—don’t get bogged down by a network failure or long upload time and miss the deadline!

Here’s what a full submission looks like:

  • Introduction video (public)
  • Summary PowerPoint slide (public)
  • Cover page and 3,000-word narrative:
    • What is your storage technology innovation? 
    • How does your technology support DOE’s goal for cost-effective long-duration energy storage? 8 What other DOE priorities (e.g., sustainable supply chain, energy equity, enhanced resilience) or innovative storage use cases will your technology meet?
    • What challenges are associated with the development and deployment of your technology?
    • How do you plan to further develop or commercialize your technology?

For more details on submission requirements, please see the official prize rules. We look forward to learning more about your disruptive technology innovations! 


Final Reminders for the Energy Storage Innovations Prize

Dec. 5, 2022, 9:15 a.m. PST by Prize Administrator

The Energy Storage Innovations Prize deadline is just over one week away, Friday, December 16. Innovators from across the energy storage landscape are invited to submit their grid-scale, long duration-capable energy storage technology innovation for a chance to win up to $50,000. 

As a reminder, a complete submission includes a cover page, written narrative, summary PowerPoint slide and accompanying 90-second introduction video. Nascent or emerging technologies in electrochemical, electromechanical, thermal, chemical, flexible buildings, and flexible generation are eligible to apply. 

Need more information? View the official prize rules or watch the informational webinar recording to learn more. 


Forum11
Teams291
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MicroEra Power, Inc MicroEra Power, Inc
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RCAM Technologies RCAM Technologies
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Darren Tan's team Darren Tan's team
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Cryostone Cryostone
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Talos Air-water turbine Talos Air-water turbine
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Electrified Thermal Solutions Electrified Thermal Solutions
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Paul's team Paul's team
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