Rep. Lipinski Tours Argonne, Touts New Battery Hub as Jobs Creator

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3), senior member of the House Science, Space & Technology Committee, toured Argonne National Laboratory and met with lab Director Eric D. Isaacs to discuss plans for the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR). In December, Argonne was chosen by the federal government as the site for JCESR, which includes five DOE national labs, five local universities, and 4 private businesses united in working toward the goal of creating batteries with five times the current storage capacity, at five times cheaper than the current cost, within five years. The congressman has been a strong supporter of the project for its potential to achieve breakthroughs in battery technology which will lower our dependence on foreign oil and create jobs and economic development around the Argonne Lab. 

“After visiting with Argonne officials today, I am hopeful that the ambitious goals for JCESR are within reach. The research taking place at Argonne will have far-reaching impacts that will potentially slash our dependence on foreign oil and create jobs here at home,” said Rep. Lipinski, the Ranking Member on the Research Subcommittee. “I am especially excited for the communities around Argonne that will be at the doorstep of innovation that will impact so many aspects of our lives, from electric cars to smart phones and beyond. This battery hub is a great example of how to turn federal research into jobs and make sure American taxpayers get the best return on their investment in science.”

JCESR’s primary objective is to develop more effective and cheaper energy storage solutions. The research is anticipated to not only reduce the cost of electric vehicles, but also open up new possibilities for wind and solar power storage, promoting American energy independence. The effort, which includes research and private sector partners, will partly rely on Argonne’s IBM Mira, one of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

“With this new Energy Storage Hub here at Argonne, we are embarking on an historic, focused effort to transform our nation’s energy landscape,” said Director Isaacs. “We appreciate Rep. Lipinski's strong support for JCESR, which will provide important economic opportunities for the Chicago area and promises to make Illinois the heart of the vital and growing advanced battery industry.”

As part of his tour, Rep. Lipinski, co-chair of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Caucus, organized a visit to Argonne for Project Infinite Green, an afterschool program  for sixth- through ninth-grade students from Lockport and Lemont schools interested in science and energy solutions. As part of a yearlong project, the students are researching clean energy alternatives and developing plans for a hybrid motorcycle. A former teacher, as well as one of the few trained engineers in Congress, Rep. Lipinski took questions from the students as they discussed transportation and energy research with staff from JCESR and Argonne’s Transportation Research Center.

“Every time I have had the opportunity to meet with the Project Infinite Green students I have been impressed by their drive and determination to learn as much as they can about science and how they can apply their research to improving our day-to-day lives,” Rep. Lipinski said. “Students are more likely to pursue careers in science and engineering after learning firsthand what scientists and engineers can do. I am especially proud that I was able to help the students from Project Infinite Green get an inside look at some of the important work that takes place at Argonne, one of the best research labs in the world.” 

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