DOD Launches Energy Storage Systems Campus to Build Domestic Capacity
The Department of Defense’s Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy, through its Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization (MCEIP) office, has awarded a three-year, $30 million project to establish an energy storage systems campus. The project will accelerate transition and scaling of next generation batteries, while reducing dependence on scarce critical materials.
The University of Texas at Dallas spearheaded the successful bid, with a diverse consortium comprising multiple universities, emerging and established businesses, and four national laboratories. The energy storage systems campus is part of DOD’s Scaling Capacity and Accelerating Local Enterprises (SCALE) initiative which stimulates commercial investment and builds robust, sustainable markets in technologies that are essential to national security. It is part of a portfolio of new MCEIP programs designed to lower barriers for emerging domestic companies, while making it easier for commercial industry to expand their production in support of DOD and other national security customers.
“The SCALE initiative is built on robust research that indicates market pull is needed to transition innovative technologies into new domestic industrial base capability and capacity,” said Dr. Laura Taylor-Kale, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy. “Our approach of aggregating demand across national security and commercial markets will generate that market pull, drastically reducing timelines to transition and scale emerging technologies.”
The energy storage systems campus will leverage and stimulate over $200 million in private capital, to accomplish three complementary objectives: optimizing current lithium ion-based battery performance, accelerating development and production of next generation batteries, and ensuring the availability of raw materials needed for these batteries. It incorporates workforce development as a key pillar, bringing together universities, trade schools, and businesses to create job growth while upskilling the domestic workforce.
The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy is the principal advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (USD(A&S)) for developing Department of Defense policies for the maintenance of the United States Defense Industrial Base (DIB), executing small business programs and policy, and conduction geo-economic analysis and assessments. The office also provides the USD(A&S) with recommendations on budget matters related to the DIB, anticipates and closes gaps in manufacturing capabilities for defense systems, and assesses impacts related to mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. IBP monitors and assesses the impact of foreign investments in the United States and executes authorities under sections 2501 and 2505 U.S.C. Title 10.