Georgia Tech Confronts Energy Storage Grand Challenges at Campus Summit

Gene Rodrigues, Assistant Secretary of Electricity at the 2023 ESGC Summit

Gene Rodrigues, Assistant Secretary of Electricity at the 2023 Energy Storage Grand Challenge Summit

The Georgia Tech Strategic Energy Institute (SEI) hosted the third annual Energy Storage Grand Challenge Summit this summer. The three-day event was sponsored by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity and organized by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The summit engaged a diverse set of energy storage stakeholders to discuss how the DOE continues to formulate strategies and pathways to accelerate energy storage innovation and deployment over the next decade and beyond.

In his keynote address, Gene Rodrigues, assistant secretary for Electricity at the DOE, shared the agency’s strategic priorities and invited stakeholders and participants to own the challenge together by focusing on partnerships and practical, cost-effective solutions for energy storage. The event consisted of tours of the local “living labs,” including the Georgia Power microgrid in midtown Atlanta and the Georgia Power Smart Neighborhood, presentations from DOE’s national labs, and panel discussions with industry experts. Discussion topics included the science underpinning energy storage, storage innovation deep dives, accelerating long-duration energy storage with public-private partnerships, and more. The event was attended by more than 200 people.

With the expansion of battery and electric vehicle manufacturers in Georgia and neighboring states, Georgia Tech is playing an integral role in developing the technologies that enable equitable, lower-cost, and cleaner generation, storage, distribution, and utilization of energy. By hosting events like this, SEI continues to strengthen partnerships with industry, national labs, government decision makers, and local communities.

“Georgia Tech has longstanding expertise in energy storage research and commercialization, with researchers working across the battery value chain from solid state batteries to new battery chemistries, polymer electrolytes, flow batteries, and much more,” said Tim Lieuwen, executive director of SEI, Regents’ Professor, and David S. Lewis Jr. Chair in the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering. “This is substantiated with the formation of the Georgia Tech Advanced Battery Center at Georgia Tech this fall.”

The newly formed Center acts as the focal point at Georgia Tech to enhance interactions between industry, researchers, and students in the area of energy storage. It is led by co-directors Matthew McDowell, professor, Woodruff Faculty Fellow, and initiative lead for energy storage at SEI and Georgia Tech's Institute of Materials; and Gleb Yushin, professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. A key goal of the Center is to construct a battery manufacturing facility at Georgia Tech that will serve as a research and development and workforce training resource for the region.

“Georgia Tech has a wealth of talent in energy storage R&D, and we are excited to further engage with companies and government to develop and deploy advanced battery technologies,” said McDowell. “We are accelerating our research, education, and training to help achieve massive electrification of our society.”  

Tim Lieuwen giving opening remarks at the 2023ESGC Summit

Tim Lieuwen, Executive Director of SEI, giving opening remarks at the 2023 Energy Storage Grand Challenge Summit

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Priya Devarajan | SEI Research Communications Program Manager