Today, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), on behalf of DOE-OE’s Energy Storage program, released a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting ideas from U.S. state and territorial governmental entities for the design, procurement, installation, and demonstration (for a minimum of one year of operation) of state-of-the-art electrical energy storage technology demonstration projects that meet the goals of the Energy Storage Program (see RFI is available here:

State entities (such as state energy offices, state economic development agencies, etc.), along with their subcontracting partners (such as universities, energy storage device manufacturers, renewable project developers, end users, and utilities) are required to contribute at least 50% of the project’s total cost, with potential grants of up to $250k for fiscal year 2012. Larger cost share will be given preference.

The purpose of this RFI (Request for Information) is to determine general interest in this opportunity and to solicit all potential state entity project ideas. Responses, due 3/8/12, will inform and may be followed with an RFQ (Request for Quotation) asking for formal proposals, on or around April 2012, with responses due on or around 4/24/12 and awards made by 8/30/12. This RFI is non-binding.

For the benefit of applicants, a bidders' call/webinar will be held on February 29, 2012 from 3-5 p.m. Eastern. Please pre-register for the event here. Questions should be sent to Suzette Howey at Sandia National Laboratories: Questions will be accepted until March 5, 2012 at 4 p.m. Eastern. All questions and answers are public and will be shared with all bidders.

In addition to deploying projects in states, another major goal of DOE-OE is to develop ongoing partnerships with state entities focused around electrical energy storage. As such, this is the first of what DOE-OE anticipates could be several subsequent solicitations, based on funding availability, under the umbrella of a long-term partnership program. Partnerships among the states and between state entities and rural electric cooperatives and/or the military are specifically encouraged. Although this solicitation is for distributed-scale projects, applications should demonstrate how these smaller, dispersed projects could lead to larger, grid-scale applications.

A variety of proposals are encouraged, encompassing various applications from renewables integration to transmission component upgrade deferral to military base energy surety, etc. Electrical energy storage technologies include advanced batteries, flywheels, super capacitors, and site-independent compressed air. The solicitation requires that all technologies be tested at SNL’s test facility for at least two months prior to final deployment. DOE is responsible to fund the testing expenses associated with the energy storage technology or storage technology application that will be deployed as a result of this opportunity. Preference will be given to American-made devices.