Energy generation and use in the U.S. is undergoing a rapid transformation in response to concerns about climate change. Carbon-free energy sources, such as wind, solar and nuclear power, are being pursued to reduce carbon emissions and improve the resiliency of power generation under extreme weather events caused by a warming planet. In September 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory launched a long-term agreement with Constellation to evaluate trends in the country’s energy system and develop technologies for more efficient, carbon-free power generation.
Constellation’s generation fleet has the capacity to power approximately 20 million homes. Its retail business serves two million residential, public sector and business customers, including three-fourths of the Fortune 100. The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between Constellation and Argonne will support various projects through October 2028.
“We want to help the nation solve problems associated with climate change, but we can’t do that without industry.” — Mark Petri, Grid Security and Resilience lead, Argonne
One such project will focus on the use of hydrogen from nuclear power to store and transmit energy in backup power, transportation and a variety of other applications. Researchers at Argonne are already working with Constellation to assess market demand for hydrogen as well as the environmental and economic impacts of hydrogen production, storage and delivery.
“Clean hydrogen produced from carbon-free nuclear has the power to transform difficult-to-decarbonize industries. By combining Constellation’s nation-leading carbon-free energy resources with electrolysis technologies and Argonne National Laboratory’s technical expertise, we have an opportunity to deliver real world solutions to combat the increasing threats of climate change,” said Colleen Wright, vice president of Corporate Strategy for Constellation.
By providing a legal framework and laying out intellectual property agreements, the Agreement allows Argonne and Constellation to quickly launch projects and pivot to address emerging challenges and opportunities in the nation’s rapidly changing energy system. In addition, the six-year timespan enables the parties to grow and expand their work to build on successes from previous projects, paving the way for Constellation to become a leader in emerging power technologies.
“This Agreement can help align our research and development at the laboratory, because it gives us much better insight into what industry actually needs. The industry benefits because they get the power of Argonne National Laboratory’s capabilities and expertise to address specific technical issues that they may have,” says Mark Petri, Grid Security and Resilience lead at Argonne.
But perhaps the biggest impact of this Agreement is the pipeline it establishes for developing and applying innovative technologies that can help decarbonize the United States’ energy system. As Petri describes, “We can immediately move our projects into field studies, pilots and adoption. We want to make a difference and help the nation solve problems associated with climate change, but we can’t do that without industry. Constellation is an ideal industry partner, given their commitment to clean, reliable power generation and their willingness to be pioneers for new energy technologies.”
Constellation Energy Corporation (Nasdaq: CEG) is the nation’s largest producer of clean, carbon-free energy and a leading supplier of energy products and services to millions of homes, institutional customers, the public sector, community aggregations and businesses, including three fourths of Fortune 100 companies. A Fortune 200 company headquartered in Baltimore, our fleet of nuclear, hydro, wind and solar facilities have the generating capacity to power approximately 20 million homes, providing 10 percent of all carbon-free energy on the grid in the U.S. Our fleet is helping to accelerate the nation’s transition to clean energy with more than 32,400 megawatts of capacity and annual output that is nearly 90 percent carbon-free. We have set a goal to achieve 100 percent carbon-free power generation by 2040 by leveraging innovative technology and enhancing our diverse mix of hydro, wind and solar resources paired with the nation’s largest nuclear fleet. Follow Constellation on Twitter @ConstellationEG.
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.