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BEIS unveils nearly £7m long duration energy storage funding

Winners include gravity storage company Gravitricity. Image: Gravitricity.

Winners include gravity storage company Gravitricity. Image: Gravitricity.

The UK government has unveiled nearly £7 million in funding to help “turbocharge” long duration storage.

It forms part of a £68 million competitive funding opportunity launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in June 2021 through the national Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP).

Announced this morning — as BEIS innovation programme manager Georgina Morris prepares to join speakers at the Energy Storage Summit 2022 in London today and tomorrow, hosted by our publisher, Solar Media — a total of 24 projects have now received £6.7 million funding through the Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration Programme.

“Driving forward energy storage technologies will be vital in our transition towards cheap, clean and secure renewable energy,” said energy and climate change minister Greg Hands.

“It will allow us to extract the full benefit from our home-grown renewable energy sources, drive down costs and end our reliance on volatile and expensive fossil fuels. Through this competition we are making sure the country’s most innovative scientists and thinkers have our backing to make this ambition a reality.”

The awards are 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.

The five awarded Stream 1 projects are a membrane free green hydrogen electrolyser, gravity-based energy storage, vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB), advanced compressed air energy storage (A-CAES) and a bundled solution of pressurised seawater and compressed air.

Thermal storage technologies were eligible, but none have received funding.

Stream 1 projects will receive funding ranging from £471,760 to £1 million per project.

There are however six thermal energy storage technologies among the 19 Stream 2 awardees. Stream 2 winners must deliver feasibility study reports for their proposed technologies and contribute to knowledge sharing and “sector capacity-building,” BEIS said.

Stream 2 funding ranging from £79,560 to £150,000 went to the six thermal storage projects, four power-to-x category projects and nine electrical energy storage projects.

Awardees

Stream 1

Technology type

Project name

Lead party

Location

Technology/scope

Funding (£)

Power-to-x energy storage

Ballylumford Power-to-X

B9 Energy Storage

Ballylumford, Northern Ireland

20MW green hydrogen electrolyser storing curtailed wind in salt caverns

986,082

Electrical energy storage

GraviSTORE

Gravitricity

Northern England

Multiweight energy storage charged and discharged by lifting and lowering weights in an underground vertical shaft

912,410.84

Electrical energy storage

Long Duration Offshore Storage Bundle

Subsea 7 Limited

Aberdeen, Scotland

Combining pressurised seawater and compressed air using hydro-pneumatic tech

471,760

Electrical energy storage

Vanadium Flow Battery Longer Duration Energy Asset Demonstrator

Invinity Energy Systems

Bathgate, Scotland

Delivering power on demand from solar PV using 40MWh vanadium flow battery storage system

708,371

Electrical energy storage

Cheshire Energy Storage Centre

io consulting

Cheshire, UK

Using Hydrostor’s A-CAES tech to store energy as compressed air in defunct EDF gas cavities

1,000,000

Stream 2

Technology type

Project name

Lead party

Location

Technology/scope

Funding (£)

Thermal energy storage

EXTEND

Sunamp

East Lothian, Scotland

Feasibility study to extend duration of phase change material (PCM) based thermal storage for heating and hot water

149,893

Thermal energy storage

Exergy3

University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland

Prepare testing of 36MWh ultra-high temperature energy storage system for industrial process decarbonisation

149,779

Thermal energy storage

ADSorB

Active Building Centre Research Programme (Swansea University)

Swansea, Wales

Developing long-duration thermal storage and control systems for domestic heating and grid support

143,440

Thermal energy storage

PTES Demonstrator

SynchroStor

Edinburgh, Scotland

Feasibility study for repeatable grid-scale pumped thermal storage system

79,560

Thermal energy storage

Utilising Composite Phase Change Materials

Vital Energi

Blackburn, England

Support development of PCM-based thermal storage

131,214

Thermal energy storage

INHERENT

Energy Systems Catapult Services Limited

Birmingham, England

Demonstrate ability of domestic thermal storage to provide low-cost, long-duration storage

149,831

Power-to-X energy storage

HyDUS

EDF R&D UK

Oxfordshire, England

Tech transfer and modification of metal hydride storage used in fusion sector for hydrogen (protium) storage

149,602

Power-to-X energy storage

HEOS

Haskins & Davey

Chester, England

Feasibility study for power-to-x tech based on storing hydrogen in metal hydride

141,000

Power-to-X energy storage

RIPCURL

ITM Power

Sheffield, England

R&D into reducing reliance on Platinum Group Metal (PGM) in hydrogen electrolyser cells

149,388

Power-to-X energy storage

Hydrilite Refueller Prototype

Corre Energy

Wales

Long-duration hydrogen storage using patented storage medium Carbon280 Hydrilite

149,922

Electrical energy storage

FlexiTanker

Cheesecake Energy

Nottingham, England

Develop thermal and compressed air technology

139,411

Electrical energy storage

Sustainable Single Liquid Flow Battery

StorTera

Edinburgh, Scotland

Specify and cost MW-scale lithium sulfur flow battery demonstrator project

148,940

Electrical energy storage

High-Density Hydro Energy Storage

RheEnergise

London, England

Developing cost-optimised energy storage solution based on pumped hydro principles

149,537

Electrical energy storage

e-Zinc Energy Storage Systems

e-Zinc

UK (unspecified)

Accelerate commercialisation of zinc-based battery storage

144,990

Electrical energy storage

BlueStor

MSE International

Portsmouth, England

Feasibility study for marine and port-based energy storage using organic flow battery tech

149,779

Electrical energy storage

Marine Pumped Hydro

RCAM Technologies

Edinburgh, Scotland

Developing marine pumped hydro tech using 3D printed concrete

150,000

Electrical energy storage

Feasibility of Compressed Air Energy Storage in the Offshore UK Continental Shelf

Crondall Energy

UK (unspecified)

Develop application of compressed air storage on UK continental shelf

149,086

Electrical energy storage

Co-location of Flow Battery Storage with Solar PV

Locogen

Edinburgh, Scotland

Assess feasibility of colocating existing PV and flow batteries

121,400

Electrical energy storage

Renewable Copper

Energy Systems Catapult Services

Birmingham, England

Develop copper/zinc battery storage with 4-12 hour duration ahead of planned demonstrator in Scotland

149,954

After launching the competition last year, BEIS opened up a three-month Call for Evidence on long-duration energy storage in July, assessing how best to enable long-duration technologies at scale.

A recent report from energy industry consultancy Aurora Energy Research found that up to 24GW of energy storage with a duration of four hours or greater could be needed to enable a net zero energy system in the UK by 2035.

This would enable the integration of variable renewable energy generation and also lower household energy bills by £1.13 billion a year in 2035. It could also reduce the country’s reliance on gas by 50TWh each year and lead to a 10MtCO2 reduction in emissions.

Aurora said however that high upfront costs, long lead times as well as a lack of revenue certainty and market signals are resulting in long-duration energy storage being underinvested into. Policy support and market reforms were recommended in the group’s report.

Another report by KPMG published a few weeks ago said that a cap and floor mechanism would be the best way to reduce investor risk while encouraging operators of long-duration facilities to respond to electricity system requirements.

In the US, the Department of Energy is hosting the Energy Storage Grand Challenge, a policy-driven effort to reduce costs and accelerate the adoption of energy storage, including a similar competitive funding opportunity for long-duration technologies and projects. Its aims include reducing the cost of long-duration energy storage 90% by 2030.

Meanwhile a cluster of European trade associations made a recent plea for the European Union (EU) to take a similarly proactive stance to support long-duration energy storage, particularly in the European Green Deal package.

This article originally appeared on Energy Storage News

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