Feds back high-volume battery project

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A Pittsburgh-based project to develop a high-volume battery that will store power from the electrical grid, reducing the need for power stations and avoiding waste, will receive $5 million of $620 million in federal stimulus money, the Department of Energy announced today.

44 Tech Inc., a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, will receive the money as a federal match to develop a new, low-cost, long-life, high-efficiency sodium ion battery for the proposed grid.

Today's announcement, made in Columbus, Ohio, adds to a current $3.3 billion outlay under the federal economic recovery act. The money is designed to develop a new power grid, said Matt Rogers, a senior advisor on recovery act allocations to energy secretary Steven Chu.

The new power grid -- called the Smart Grid -- is designed to increase efficiency and anticipate surges and declines in demand by factories and consumers.

"It's anticipating more renewables coming into the sytem and it's anticipating electric vehicles," Mr. Rogers said.


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