Energy Storage Cost and Performance Database

DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge supports detailed cost and performance analysis for a variety of energy storage technologies to accelerate their development and deployment

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Battery Reliability

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Storage Grand Challenge is a comprehensive program that seeks to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of next-generation energy storage technologies.

In support of this challenge, PNNL is applying its rich history of battery research and development to provide DOE and industry with a guide to current energy storage costs and performance metrics for various technologies. Cost and performance metrics for individual technologies track the following to provide an overall cost of ownership for each technology:

  • cost to procure, install, and connect an energy storage system;
  • associated operational and maintenance costs; and
  • end-of life costs. 

These metrics are intended to support DOE and industry stakeholders in making sound decisions about future R&D directions and priorities that move the U.S. closer to its goal of energy independence.

The technologies currently being evaluated are:

  • lithium-ion (lithium iron phosphate and nickel manganese cobalt chemistries)
  • vanadium redox flow
  • lead acid
  • pumped storage hydropower
  • compressed air energy storage
  • hydrogen

For more information about each, as well as the related cost estimates, please click on the individual tabs. Additional storage technologies will be added as representative cost and performance metrics are verified. A full report of the 2020 ESGC Cost and Performance Assessment is available for download.

The interactive figure below presents results on the total installed ESS cost ranges by technology, year, power capacity (MW), and energy duration (hr).


The interactive figure below presents the percent of total installed ESS cost by cost component for each technology, year, power capacity, and energy duration (hr). This illustrates the breakdown of cost components within each storage technology and how each contributes to the total installed cost.


Annualized Cost of Storage & Levelized Cost of Electricity

To achieve a comparable annualized cost, technology-specific findings for installed energy storage system costs as well as the estimated system operating costs were run through a pro forma that incorporates assumptions surrounding the required costs of financing a project over the duration of its usable life. This total long-run revenue requirement is then evaluated as an annualized payment in 2020 USD based on an assumed weighted cost of capital for discounting. By conducting an annualized cost calculation, we can compare technologies laterally to get a better understanding of cost components and the economics of each system.

The levelized cost of energy (LCOE) defined here calculates the $/kWh value that the discharged electricity would need to be sold at to breakeven on the overall storage investment across its usable life. The LCOE is calculated by dividing the annualized cost of storage by the annual throughput (kWh) of the system. Annual throughput in this analysis is determined by the energy capacity of the system (MWh), the depth of discharge, and the number of cycles per year.


Paul Spitsen, Technology and Policy Analyst, Office of Strategic Analysis
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy 

Vince Sprenkle, Strategic Advisor--Energy Storage
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory