The Energy Security Grand Challenge leverages the expertise of the full spectrum of DOE offices and the capabilities of its National Labs. These facilities enable independent testing, verification, and demonstration of energy storage technologies, allowing them to enter the market more quickly.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Grid Storage Launchpad

DOE is planning to begin construction in 2021 on the $75 million Grid Storage Launchpad at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. Designed as a resource hub for the development of next-generation grid energy storage technologies, the R&D facility will provide labs for basic materials synthesis and processing, in-operando characterization, small-scale cell fabrication, kilowatt-scale testing and validation, advanced prototyping, visualization, and analysis. The project will also support the creation of rigorous performance requirements and standards for all stages of grid development.


The Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) research platform aims to de-risk, optimize, and secure current energy systems and to provide insight into the design and operation of future energy systems. ARIES, located at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is a unique DOE asset that integrates real physical equipment and devices and emulated devices in hardware-in-the-loop experiments supported by high-performance computing. The research platform supports full experimentation of integrated energy systems at a scale that replicates real world scenarios. ARIES engages with partner institutions to increase impact and leverage the spectrum of energy experimentation assets across the DOE lab complex, industry, and academia. ARIES addresses the fundamental challenges for integrated energy systems at scale of:

  • Variability in the physical size of new energy technologies being added to our energy infrastructure
  • Controlling large numbers (millions to tens of millions) of interconnected devices
  • Integrating multiple diverse technologies that have not previously worked together

The ARIES platform leverages existing capabilities at NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) which operate at up to the 2-MW level and 13.2kV, and the Integrated Energy Systems at Scale (IESS) capabilities at its Flatirons Campus which operate at up to the 20-MW level and 115kV.

Integrating the capabilities at the Grid Storage Launch pad at PNNL and ARIES into an end-to-end research pathway for advanced energy storage will allow the seamless transition between early stage and large scale validation. Partners will benefit from this comprehensive structure, as it provides a one-stop resource for a spectrum of energy storage research. This holistic integration of storage validation capabilities also directly supports the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC) efforts to develop common metrics for all storage systems (electrical, thermal, chemical, etc.) that enable the end user to accurately assess the value of selected storage systems under their use conditions.