Energy storage firm redT and technology specialist Open Energi are to use a vanadium redox flow machine to provide grid frequency response services for the first time.
Last week the duo achieved pre-qualification status to take the technology into National Grid’s dynamic firm frequency response (dFFR) market for the first time, specifically a 300kWh flow machine installed at an industrial site in Dorset, coupled with a solar installation with a peak generation capacity of 250kW.
The machine has been integrated with Open Energi’s Dynamic Demand platform, and Open will be tasked with optimising the asset’s performance and revenue generation.
RedT said that flow machine technology was well suited to providing grid services due to their ability to withstand large numbers of daily cycles. Flow machine technology doesn’t degrade like other battery storage technologies, such as lithium-ion.
Scott McGregor, chief executive at RedT, said that there was common misperception that flow machines are incapable of providing fast frequency response services, with the technology more commonly associated with long-duration energy storage.
“This achievement demonstrates the ability of non-degrading, heavy-cycling energy storage technologies such as flow machines to provide much needed flexibility to the network. This is a key opportunity for investors, energy managers and business owners to deploy 25-year energy storage infrastructure, at their sites – an essential piece of the puzzle our country must solve in order to achieve net-zero by 2050,” he said.
The pre-qualification capped off a productive week for redT, which also celebrated agreeing outline terms on a merger with fellow vanadium redox flow battery outfit Avalon.
The deal, which will technically take the form of a reverse takeover, will see the creation of a “leading player” in the energy storage market, both companies said.
Although the deal is not yet complete, the merged entity intends to re-admit on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and raise at least £24 million of new funds to power the company forward and pursue developments across North America, Europe and Asia.
Neil O’Brien, executive chairman at redT, said getting to this stage in its search for strategic partners was a “major step forward” for the business.
“The combination of our two companies will create a major force in the rapidly growing energy storage sector. We will have global reach, world-leading technology and an enhanced ability to drive down production costs and attract new capital,” he said.
If successful, the deal would seemingly secure the future of redT which had otherwise appeared precarious. It secured a further £3.2 million of funding in April this year, but last month reported a widening loss and admitted that failure to land additional investment could result in the firm ceasing to trade by the end of November.