Mark Keenum and Peter LittlewoodFrom left to right: Mark Keenum, President, Mississippi State University, and Peter Littlewood, director of Argonne National Laboratory, sign a memorandum of understanding for a collaboration to develop new technologies that address next-generation energy storage challenges.Photo credit: Argonne National LaboratoryStarkville, Miss., – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and Mississippi State University (MSU) are collaborating to develop new technologies that address next-generation energy storage challenges.

Today’s lithium-ion batteries hold more than twice the energy of those released in 1991, and they continue to improve. But even when brought to their energy storage potential, lithium-ion batteries fall short of some of our energy storage needs. Next-generation batteries are necessary to meet these needs.

This collaboration will include joint research to build next-generation batteries for the electric grid that meet the challenges caused by tornadoes, hurricanes and other weather events. New discoveries could enhance the load-balancing capabilities of the grid in the Southeast region.

Argonne has collaborated closely with MSU for many years. In addition, MSU is an affiliate of the Argonne-led Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), a DOE Energy Innovation Hub.

A memorandum of understanding will serve as a catalyst for the establishment of the MSU-Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering, which is being created by MSU. It provides a way for researchers from Argonne to work with MSU faculty and scientists to invent breakthrough energy storage technology. The creation of the Institute will be announced today at MSU during a JCESR symposium.

“The Southeast faces some unique challenges caused by extreme weather; challenges that next-generation energy storage can address,” said Argonne Director Peter B. Littlewood. “Mississippi State University scientists and engineers are not only highly talented, but also possess a deep and necessary understanding of the region. I look forward to the gains we can make by bringing our combined resources to bear on next-generation energy challenges.”

“This new partnership with Argonne National Laboratory will showcase our world-class faculty and research capabilities, as well as provide outstanding opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students,” said David Shaw, Mississippi State’s vice president for research and economic development.

“As Mississippi’s flagship research university, we have a very productive relationship with Argonne, and look forward to developing the next generation of energy storage technologies with this top-tier federal research lab,” Shaw explained.

Symposium Focuses on Southeastern Energy Issues

The symposium, entitled Challenges and Opportunities for Advances in Grid-Tied Energy Storage in the Southeast, will explore new energy storage technologies to make the grid more resilient to natural disasters. It will focus on the potential to use renewable resources like solar and wind power to cut costs and increase energy efficiency.

Speakers and panelists will discuss the unique needs of the Southeast region. U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly of Mississippi's 1st District will be the featured speaker at a networking luncheon during the symposium.