Coal Transition Board Awards Grant to support repurposing and deploying used battery modules

Centralia, Wash. (May 24, 2021) The TransAlta Centralia Coal Transition Grants Energy Technology Board announced it has approved a $25,000 grant to BattGenie Inc., a spinout from the University of Washington and based in Seattle. This team has a goal to enable faster charging and longer cycle for Lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, consumer electronics and grid storage battery applications.

The $25,000 grant is leveraged with funding received from the Washington Department of Commerce Energy Efficiency grant program and a local district contribution. During this project, BattGenie, Washington Clean Energy Testbeds, Snohomish PUD and King County Metro will partner to repurpose and deploy used battery modules across multiple installations with the goal of providing load levelling and demand reduction services on Snohomish PUD’s distribution grid. The data collected will be shared in an open access fashion to enable other researchers working on second used batteries to characterize and benchmark the performance of the used batteries for their respective planned usage.

The Energy Technology Board was formed as a result of the 2011 Agreement between TransAlta and the state of Washington to transition the Centralia plant away from coal-fired operations with one unit shutting down in December 2020 and the second unit in December 2025. The company is investing $55 million into Lewis and South Thurston Counties and the state of Washington through the Coal Transition Boards.

BattGenie was co-founded by University of Washington Professor Venkat Subramanian with his graduate students Manan Pathak and Chintan Pathak. The team currently has a total of eight personnel and is based out of the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds.

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:

Annual payments for the funding boards began in 2012 with the last payment due December 31, 2023. The opportunity to start flowing dollars into projects became effective December 31, 2015.

Weatherization Board ($10M): established to fund energy efficiency and weatherization for the residents, employees, business, non-profit organizations and local governments within Lewis County and South Thurston County; up to $1 million shall be allocated to fund residential energy efficiency and weatherization measures for low-income and moderate-income residents of Lewis County and South Thurston County;

Economic & Community Development Board ($20M): established to fund education, retraining, economic development, and community enhancement; at least $5M shall be allocated to fund education, retraining and economic development specifically targeting the needs of workers displaced from the Centralia facility;

Energy Technology Board ($25M): established to fund energy technologies with the potential to create environmental benefits to the state of Washington.