Duracell, Volkswagen, LG, and Hitachi are among the first corporate members of CalCharge, a pioneering initiative designed to accelerate the development of the energy storage sector in California.
CalCharge emerged out of a joint effort of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) — a DOE national laboratory — and CalCEF to explore ways to support the growth of the California energy storage cluster. The partnership grew to include SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, San Jose State University, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractor's Association as the other founding Partner Members.
Other corporate members include: Eaton, Enovix, EnerVault, Farasis Energy, Halotechnics, Leyden Energy and Primus.
“Energy storage is the key to unlocking a clean energy economy," said CalCharge president Jeff Anderson. "CalCharge is positioned to make California the center of gravity for energy storage technology development in the U.S. and globally."
Private-public partnerships such as CalCharge allow companies to take advantage of a wider range of resources to accelerate innovation and create quality jobs, the organization says. Young companies can connect with scientists and leading-edge equipment to more quickly achieve breakthroughs in their technology.
CalCharge offers its members access to programs in Technology Assessment and Acceleration, Professional Development, Pre-Commercialization Support, and Ecosystem Facilitation. This enables them to more easily collaborate, identify barriers to emerging technology success, and develop solutions that help clear the path to commercialization and adoption of energy storage technologies.
Energy storage technologies, while less flashy than solar and wind, constitute part of the next wave of cleantech innovations that will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and counter climate change.