December 14, 2012

After Touring Eastman Business Park, Gillibrand Urges DOD to Engage With BNL, SBU & NY-Best

Senator Saw First Hand the Future Site of the NY-BEST Commercialization Center And Discussed Federal Investment Opportunities

Rochester, New York – After touring the Eastman Business Park, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today discussed federal investment opportunities for the NY-BEST Commercialization Center. The New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology (NY-BEST) Consortium is an industry-led organization with over 100 companies, including leading suppliers of military batteries, who are committed to catalyzing and growing the energy storage industry. NY-BEST is currently involved in the development of an advanced battery and energy storage commercialization center at the Eastman Business Park. Today, Senator Gillibrand urged the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to engage with NY-BEST, Stony Brook University (SBU) and Brookhaven National Laboratory in an effort to reduce fuel needs while increasing its renewable energy capabilities.

“Given that DOD is the nation’s largest energy user, I am certain the work of BNL, SBU and NY-BEST could help enhance the Department’s efforts to reduce its fuel needs while increasing its renewable energy capabilities,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Armed Services Committee. “The consortium is also a key center for communication, education and interaction in the industry and will position New York State as a global leader in these technologies.”

“NY-BEST appreciates Senator Gillibrand's interest in the Commercialization Center and her assistance with engaging the Department of Defense to form a potential partnership with NY-BEST, Brookhaven National Lab, and our numerous other partners in New York State,” said Bill Acker, Executive Director of NY-BEST.

“Stony Brook University would welcome the opportunity to partner with NY-BEST to help DOD identify solutions to the challenge of developing lightweight, long-lasting batteries to equip military personnel in the field and for other military applications,” said Stony Brook University Vice President for Research Benjamin Hsiao, PhD. “With top-notch, world class energy researchers at the university working in tandem with colleagues at BNL, SBU is uniquely situated to serve as an energy research and development hub for DOD.”

“BNL's cutting-edge research facilities and programs in renewable energy and energy storage, together with its partnerships with NY-BEST and Stony Brook University, can have immediate and long-term impact on the energy needs of the DOD,” said Sam Aronson, Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory.

NY-BEST Commercialization Center will allow faster product commercialization and development of emerging technologies critical to a full range of energy storage applications including transportation and the electric grid. Importantly, for military purposes, the center will provide unique prototyping and testing capabilities for large-scale battery systems. 

 

According to the Economic Impact Study and Roadmap for Energy Storage in New York State, the energy storage sector could create more than 11,000 jobs in the next 10 years and has the potential to position New York State as a global leader. Senator Gillibrand pushed for DOD to explore a potential partnership with NY-BEST, to enhance national security, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and improve U.S. competitiveness in this fast-growing industry. 

The text of Senator Gillibrand’s letter is below:

The Honorable Frank Kendall

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition,

Technology and Logistics

1400 Defense Pentagon

Washington, DC 20301

 

Dear Secretary Kendall,

 

I am writing to you regarding the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Stony Brook University (SBU) and the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST). These organizations are on the cutting edge of battery and energy storage research that could be useful to Department of Defense (DoD) technologies and systems in the future.  As such, I am extending an invitation to you to visit these important institutions to explore potential partnerships between DoD and New York’s energy storage research community, led by these leading entities, as the federal government continues to explore new energy technologies that enhance our national security, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and improve U.S. competitiveness in this fast-growing industry.

 

The Brookhaven National Laboratory, located in Upton, New York, in partnership with nearby Stony Brook University, are leaders in sustainable energy research, including renewable energy and energy storage. Scientists at BNL and SBU are currently conducting research on solid-state hydrogen storage and lithium batteries, two promising technologies in the field of alternative transportation. Their goal is to significantly improve the reliability and efficiency of fuel cells and batteries.

 

The New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium is an industry-led organization with over 100 companies, including leading suppliers of military batteries, who are committed to catalyzing and growing the energy storage industry.  NY-BEST works to support energy storage technologies -- from research and development to products and widespread deployment—for use in a variety of settings and applications, including military uses.  The consortium is also a key center for communication, education and interaction in the industry.

 

NY-BEST is currently involved in the development of an advanced battery and energy storage commercialization center at the Eastman Business Park in Rochester, NY.  This center will allow faster product commercialization and development of emerging technologies critical to a full range of energy storage applications including transportation and the electric grid. Importantly, for military purposes, the center will provide unique prototyping and testing capabilities for large-scale battery systems.  At the same time, BNL and Stony Brook University have developed plans to establish a Center for Extended Lifetime Energy Storage Technologies, in partnership with New York State Smart Grid Consortium, NY-BEST, as well as other prominent American universities and U.S.-based companies, that would focus on the development of targeted solutions for energy storage. Both NY-BEST and BNL are very interested in engaging DoD in discussions on how they may be able to work cooperatively to provide tools and resources that would help serve the nation’s needs in the area of energy storage.

 

Thank you for your attention to this matter and I hope that you are able to visit these two important New York institutions to discuss their important work and their relation to DoD platforms.  Given that DoD is the nation’s largest energy user, I am certain the work of BNL and NY-BEST could help enhance the Department’s efforts to reduce its fuel needs while increasing its renewable energy capabilities. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my staff.