August 26, 2019
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New energy storage project coming to PNNL, with millions in federal investment



Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will host a new national grid energy research facility, the Tri-City Herald reported Thursday.

It’s a major federal project that’s expected to result in “tens of millions” to be spent on a new complex at the lab in Richland, and one that would also attract more researchers to the award-winning federal science facility.

“The facility would help modernize the nation’s utility grid to make it more resilient, secure, reliant and flexible,” reporter Annette Cary wrote.

For example, better energy storage could help electricity supplies recover rapidly if severe weather or natural disasters take down parts of the grid, the newspaper reported.

“If you had longer lasting batteries...in terms of days or weeks, that would change the game in terms of resiliency,” Lab Director Steven Ashby said.

He also said energy storage is of critical importance for the U.S. Department of Energy.

“We expect to see funding in this area increase over time,” he said.

The lab was picked by an independent review board that evaluated several options. The president’s budget request for the next fiscal year includes $5 million for planning and design work, the Herald reported.

The project will require funding from Congress.

U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., said he will support the project in the budget process.

“Affordable grid energy storage is going to be critical for our nation’s energy future and this new facility will build upon PNNL’s expertise in this field of research,” Newhouse said.



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Deadline for written comments on draft overtime rule Sept. 6
Support for Ex-Im Bank Grows


In Our View: Congress must reauthorize Ex-Im Bank now

By The Columbian Editorial Board

For 85 years, the federal Export-Import Bank has helped American corporations compete in the global marketplace. Now it is in need of reauthorization from Congress.

In recent years in Clark County, the bank has supported companies such as Conquest Consulting Group, Northwest Natural Products and Neil Jones Food Company. Across Washington, it has supported companies large and small in every region. About 90 percent of businesses that use Ex-Im Bank services are small businesses that provide local jobs and contribute to the local tax base.

The Ex-Im Bank, which provides and guarantees loans to help foreign entities make purchases from U.S. companies, is particularly important in our state, where an estimated 40 percent of all jobs are tied in some fashion to international trade...

Read the full editorial in The Columbian