U.S. Energy Storage Association Corporate Responsibility Initiative Task Force Issues New Guidelines for End of Life, Recycling of Lithium-Ion Battery Energy Storage Systems


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The U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) announced that its Corporate Responsibility Initiative (CRI) Task Force has published Guidelines for End of Life and Recycling of Lithium-Ion Battery Energy Storage SystemsThis new resource outlines how to plan for end-of-life management of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries from decommissioned energy storage systems (ESS) in an environmentally sustainable way.

The guidelines encourage ESS owners and others in the supply chain to consider the options and costs of recycling from the inception of project development. Early consideration of options maximizes the flexibility and minimizes the environmental impact and cost of removing batteries from service at the end-of-life. By supporting the development of robust Li-ion battery recycling practices, the energy storage industry can prepare for eventual decommissioning while maintaining environmental integrity.

“The expansive growth of energy storage comes with an increased responsibility that we are committed to meeting through our industry-led CRI Task Force,” said ESA CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman. “The CRI Task Force recognizes the environmental responsibility that the industry holds in the production, use, and disposal of battery systems. This set of guidelines aims to address the oncoming industry-wide challenges in the face of rapid growth, and ultimately, end of life of these systems. We’re proud to support the industry leaders contributing to responsible end-of-life management practices.”

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The ESA CRI Task Force is composed of experts from energy storage companies that have signed the Corporate Responsibility Pledge. Currently, 57 signatories have taken the responsibility pledge, including dozens of companies whose experts helped formulate these guidelines. Earlier this year, ESA issued a white paper on End-of-Life Management of Lithium-ion Energy Storage Systems that outlined the evolving opportunities for managing spent ESS Li-ion batteries. The CRI Task Force will issue a decommissioning plan template later this year.

About the Corporate Responsibility Initiative

In 2019, the U.S. Energy Storage Association launched the Energy Storage Corporate Responsibility Initiative (CRI) with pledges from stakeholders across the energy storage value chain. Today, the Task Force comprised of experts have signed the pledge signaling their intent to engage in a good-faith effort to optimize performance, minimize risk and serve as an exemplary corporate citizen in the manufacturing, deployment, implementation and operation of energy storage projects across the United States. The Task Force has authored and contributed to multiple publications and developed recommended guidelines related to operational safety and end-of-life and recycling issues. Ongoing work includes responsible materials sourcing and more

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