The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has provided over £32 million to five energy storage projects across the nation to support the development of new technologies such as thermal batteries and liquid flow batteries.
The funding has been provided to the winners of the second phase of the Longer Duration Energy Storage (LODES) competition which aims to scale innovative new energy storage technologies and increase the nation’s capabilities.
The winners of the funding include StorTera, Sunamp, the University of Sheffield, RheEnergise and EDF UK.
Energy storage has become increasingly important in a low-carbon society. With vast quantities of intermittent renewable generation sources being created across the UK, developing energy storage capacity to contain the green energy has become a crucial market.
Scaling the energy storage market could additionally enable greater energy security, stability and reliability by enabling flexible options for energy distribution for when there is strain – an area of increasing concern in the UK amid the energy crisis.
“Accelerating renewables is key to boosting our energy resilience. Energy storage helps us get the full benefit of these renewables, improving efficiency and helping drive down costs in the long term,” said Minister for Climate Graham Stuart.
“This £32.9 million government backing will enable green innovators across the UK to develop this technology, helping create new jobs and encouraging private investment, while also safeguarding the UK’s energy security.”
StorTera will receive a total of £5.02 million to support the creation of a prototype demonstrator for a sustainable and highly energy dense single liquid flow battery (SLIQ) technology. The SLIQ will provide a flexibility option to the UK energy grid.
Sunamp is set to gain £9.25 million for an advanced thermal storage system which will be used in a trial across 100 homes in the UK. The company manufactures a proprietary heat battery technology, which the trial will explore means of expanding the energy storage capacity of.
A total of £2.6 million will be allocated to the University of Sheffield to support the creation of a prototype modular thermal energy storage system. In doing so, this technology could offer an opportunity to provide the flexible storage of heat within homes.
The prototype energy systems will be manufactured by Loughborough University and deployed at the Creative Energy Homes campus at the University of Nottingham, demonstrating the technology within lived-in homes.
“Our focus now is to make this happen. We intend to successfully demonstrate these technologies within lived-in homes, and to work with our industrial partners on scale up and commercialisation activities to bring them to market as soon as possible,” said Dr Rob Barthorpe from the University of Sheffield.
“We believe these technologies have the potential to play a significant role in maximising usage of renewable sources and could provide real help to consumers during events such as the current energy crisis.”
RheEnergise, developer of a long-duration hydro-energy storage, will receive £8.24 million to develop a demonstration project situated near Plymouth. This will use the company’s high-density hydro pumped energy storage system.
Central to this solution is the use of the company’s High-Density Fluid R-19, which is 2.5x denser than water. Because of the high density of the fluid, projects can not only be constructed in areas with less elevation, but they can also be up to 2.5x smaller than traditional pumped hydro projects for the same energy capacity.
“BEIS’s contract is incredibly welcome and will enable us to accelerate the commercial deployment of our High-Density Hydro storage system in the UK and overseas. With the BEIS contract in place, we will be seeking planning consent for our Devon project before the end of the year,” said Stephen Crosher, chief executive of RheEnergise.
The final £7.73 million allocated via the LODES programme will go to EDF UK Research and Development (R&D) for a project being developed in partnership with the University of Bristol, Urenco and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).
This partnership will develop a hydrogen storage demonstrator which uses depleted uranium at UKAEA’s Culham Science Centre in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Electricity will be converted to hydrogen via electrolysis and stored for future use – either directly as hydrogen, or converted back to electricity via a fuel cell when required.
“Hydrogen is an exciting and provable future solution for the UK’s energy industry. Following the launch of this project, our demonstration technology will be a world first, allowing us to utilise depleted uranium to store hydrogen and provide grid flexibility,” said Patrick Dupeyrat, director of EDF UK R&D.
“The UK’s net zero future needs hydrogen and nuclear in the mix, and HyDUS, which innovatively combines the two, makes perfect sense. We have every confidence that HyDUS will succeed and are delighted that the government has backed the project with critical research funding.”
In February, it was announced at Solar Media’s Energy Storage Summit 2022 that a total of 24 projects had received £6.7 million funding via the LODES Programme.
It was stated the awards had been split into two streams: Stream 1 is for demonstration projects of technologies considered close to commercialisation and aiming to accelerate that process so that they can be deployed on the UK energy system. Stream 2 seeks to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative projects through building “first-of-a-kind” prototypes of full systems.
Current±’s publisher Solar Media will host the eighth annual Energy Storage Summit EU in London, 22-23 February 2023. This year it is moving to a larger venue, bringing together Europe’s leading investors, policymakers, developers, utilities, energy buyers and service providers all in one place. Visit the official site for more info.