Some £30M of Government funding has been awarded to innovative projects that will capture and store renewable energy for later use.
This announcement follows the launch of the government’s Powering Up Britain plan, showing how the UK will boost the country’s energy security and independence, create green British jobs and stay at the forefront of the transition to net zero.
Storing energy will be crucial as the UK transitions towards cheap, clean, domestically-produced renewable energy which will play an essential role in powering more of Britain from Britain and increasing the country’s energy security.
The nature of renewables means that on windy or sunny days, sometimes more renewable electricity is generated than is needed. Energy storage technology will soak up this excess energy for later use, maximising the use of renewable energy, all while boosting energy security and supplying energy to consumers at a lower cost.
Flexibility from technologies such as electricity storage and smart charging of electric vehicles could save up to £10Bn per year by 2050 by reducing the amount of energy and network needed to create a secure, home-grown energy system. Accelerating the uptake of energy storage technology will also mean National Grid can balance the grid by activating storage systems instead of asking certain power generation technologies to switch off, further reducing costs to the taxpayer.
A wide range of cutting-edge businesses, in locations from Scotland and Nottingham, will benefit from the funding to support these businesses testing and preparing their technologies to be ready for the energy market, encouraging private investment and creating new jobs across the UK.
Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero Graham Stuart said: “Storing energy for longer periods is vital to build a robust and secure energy system and ensure that renewable energy is used efficiently. Fortunately, the UK has a wealth of pioneering businesses that are making their mark on this industry.
“Today we’re backing three UK businesses to make their projects a reality, which will go on to play a role in our country’s energy security.”
The winning projects will now go on to fully deploy and demonstrate their technology:
Synchrostor, Edinburgh, Scotland, which will receive £9.4M to build a Pumped Thermal Energy Storage (PTES) grid-connected demonstration plant operating at 1MW, with the ability to charge and discharge for a period of 10 hours, longer than current battery technology
Invinity Energy (UK) Limited, Scotland, which will receive £11M to develop and manufacture their 7MW, 30MWh 4-hour Vanadium Flow Battery (VFB), the largest in the UK. Invinity will manufacture the 30 MWh VFB at the Company’s factory in West Lothian, Scotland. The location of the plant will be confirmed in due course; and
Cheesecake Energy Ltd, Nottingham, which will receive £9.4M to test their FlexiTanker technology which stores electricity using a combination of thermal and compressed air energy storage and uses a reversible air compression / expansion train to charge and discharge.
This announcement follows the £32.8M funding awarded to 5 UK energy storage projects across the country in November 2022 to create first-of-a-kind prototypes of their technology. A total of £69M of funding has been awarded so far through this programme, helping to drive innovative technologies such as energy storage.
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