U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu was joined by Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel last week to unveil plans for a next generation battery hub known as the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research at the Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago.

The federal government will provide up to $120 million over five years to establish the new battery and energy storage hub. Five DOE national laboratories, five universities, and four private firms will participate in the research to advance the next generation of battery and energy storage technologies.

Construction is expected to begin next year. The state has committed $5 million in capital funds for the project and will seek legislative support for another $30 million of capital funding.

“Based on the tremendous advances that have been made in the past few years, there are very good reasons to believe that advanced battery technologies can and will play an increasingly valuable role in strengthening America’s energy and economic security by reducing our oil dependence, upgrading our aging power grid, and allowing us to take greater advantage of intermittent energy sources like wind and solar,” Chu said.

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