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UK utility Centrica has partnered with the US Department of Energy to conduct research on energy storage technologies.

The two parties have partnered through their arms Centrica Business Solutions and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to study the integration of several energy storage technologies.

NREL will host the research activities at its Energy Systems Integration Facility.

Centrica will provide its proprietary battery aggregation and control systems to manage new and second-life batteries (i.e., batteries previously used in electric vehicles) as a single unit for disparate applications, including supporting electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The aim of the partnership is to develop new solutions to address major challenges facing the energy industry and to lower the cost and expand applications for energy storage systems.

The two will focus on addressing mutliple challenges such as developing a storage system that is cost effective, that serves for both short term and long term storage needs and one fit for both application for low or high power systems.

The two are confident will come up with a technology to maximize the value of intermittent renewable energy, providing ancillary services to the electric grid, or providing backup power.

Fabio Mantovani, Director of Technology Strategy and Innovation for Centrica Business Solutions, said: "We are excited to embark on this work with NREL. Battery storage is a key component of the energy system of the future and a priority area for Centrica Business Solutions. This project will open the door to use energy storage to meet multiple customer needs with a single, integrated solution."