Magnetic Energy Storage System

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Cary, North Carolina
Project Term:
10/01/2010 - 06/30/2014

Technology Description:

ABB is developing an advanced energy storage system using superconducting magnets that could store significantly more energy than today's best magnetic storage technologies at a fraction of the cost. This system could provide enough storage capacity to encourage more widespread use of renewable power like wind and solar. Superconducting magnetic energy storage systems have been in development for almost 3 decades; however, past devices were designed to supply power only for short durations—generally less than a few minutes. ABB's system would deliver the stored energy at very low cost, making it ideal for eventual use in the electricity grid as a cost-effective competitor to batteries and other energy storage technologies. The device could potentially cost even less, on a per kilowatt basis, than traditional lead-acid batteries.

Potential Impact:

If successful, ABB's superconducting magnetic energy storage system could eventually provide the large-scale storage capacity required to support the use of renewable power throughout the grid.


A more efficient and reliable grid would be more resilient to potential disruptions.


Electricity generation accounts for over 40% of U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Enabling large-scale contributions of wind and solar power for our electricity generation would result in a substantial decrease in CO2 emissions.


Increases in the availability of wind and solar power would reduce fossil fuel demand, resulting in reduced fuel prices and more stable electricity rates.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. John Lemmon
Project Contact:
Dr. V.R. Ramanan
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


SuperPower, Inc.
Brookhaven National Laboratory

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