ANN ARBOR — New battery research laboratories will be built in Holland and Ann Arbor under a $120 million federal Energy Department grant that will create the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago.
Two subsidiary battery labs for the research program will be built in Michigan. The purpose of the grant is to help achieve breakthroughs in energy storage technology.
Randy Thelen, president of Lakeshore Advantage, the economic development agency for the Holland area, noted that the invitation from Argonne “further validates West Michigan’s expertise and importance in the advanced energy storage industry.”
West Michigan already boasts 14 battery suppliers and two major battery manufacturers investing more than $500 million, as well as colleges and universities supporting the industry.
Though the specific impact in dollars and jobs for the Holland community is not yet known, the position of Lakeshore Advantage as an affiliate in the grant means area companies will have access to top battery researchers and greater commercialization opportunities. The region’s colleges and universities, including Hope College, Grand Valley State University, Western Michigan University and Michigan State University, will have additional opportunities to partner on advanced energy storage research projects.
The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research consortium also will include the University of Michigan, Dow Chemical, Johnson Controls and Michigan Technological University.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is providing $5 million through his Illinois Jobs Now capital construction plan to help build the center’s headquarters at Argonne.