An aerial view of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington.The Energizer Bunny used to be the poster child for energy storage. But now, thanks to a significant infusion of federal and state funding, Washington State is taking the lead in large-scale energy storage.

While small projects around the state have already proven that energy can be efficiently stored for later use, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland will tackle it scalability of storage on a national scale. The Department of Energy has chosen PNNL to be a major player in developing and testing new storage technologies.

“Energy storage is an area of critical importance to the Department of Energy as it takes on the energy resilience problem for the country,” said Steven Ashby, PNNL director. “We expect to see funding in this area increase over time.”

The new facility will find ways to modernize the U.S. energy grid, making it more resilient, reliable, secure and flexible. The new technologies will help the nation maintain power after natural disasters or other disruptions that have historically caused brownouts or blackouts. With advanced storage capabilities, the grid could take wind, solar and other green energy production sources and store them for use during energy shortages.

In addition to a $5 million grant from the federal government to start planning and design, Washington State has allocated $8.3 million in its capital budget for the next two years to purchase equipment for the new facility.

Learn more in the Tri-City Herald.