The Energy Department announced on November 30 that its Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago was selected for an award of up to $120 million over five years to lead a multi-partner team to establish a new batteries and energy storage hub. The hub, to be known as the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), will combine research and development power of five Energy Department national laboratories, five universities, and four private firms in an effort aimed at achieving revolutionary advances in battery performance. Advancing next-generation battery and energy storage technologies for electric and hybrid cars and the electricity grid are a critical part of President Obama's strategy to reduce reliance on foreign oil and lower energy costs for U.S. consumers.
Other national labs partnering with Argonne include Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. University partners include Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, and University of Michigan. Four industrial partners have also joined, including Dow Chemical Company; Applied Materials, Inc.; Johnson Controls, Inc.; and Clean Energy Trust.
The State of Illinois is providing $5 million to help build the state-of-the-art JCESR facility located on the Argonne campus in suburban Chicago. JCESR is the fourth energy innovation hub established by the Energy Department since 2010. Other hubs are devoted to modeling and simulation of nuclear reactors, achieving major improvements in the energy efficiency of buildings, and developing fuels from sunlight. A fifth hub focused on critical materials research was announced earlier this year and is still in the application process. See the Energy Department press release .