The developer of a new long duration hydro energy storage system will build its first demonstrator in Devon after receiving an £8.25m government contract.

Unlike conventional hydro power, the system from RheEnergise will use dense liquid instead of water. The fluid is two-and-a-half-times denser than water, and could therefore potentially provide two-and-a-half-times the power of equivalent conventional systems.

The first-of-a-kind demonstrator will be installed at a mine near Plymouth in the next 18 months, and will have capacity of 250kW/1MWh.

Designed to be ‘low-cost, energy efficient and environmentally benign’, the system will use excess energy – such as that generated by wind turbines on a windy day with low demand – to pump liquid uphill from underground storage tanks. After travelling uphill, the liquid would then be released to power downhill turbines when electricity demand is higher.

“Over the next decade, long duration energy storage can make an important contribution to the UK energy market, and indeed globally,” said Stephen Crosher, chief executive of RheEnergise.

“Long duration energy storage is a key to delivering the energy transition, and will help strengthen the resilience and security of the UK’s energy system. It will be essential to the effective operation of the grid as it balances intermittent renewable generation [and] it helps to create effective baseload power from renewables, whilst at the same time keeping costs low. Our storage system offers a solution.”

He added: “We are also pursuing a number of project opportunities elsewhere in the UK, continental Europe and Canada. Drawing upon our work in Devon and the government’s welcome support, we expect to have our first 5MW grid-scale project in operation in 2026.”

RheEnergise analysis of potential project opportunities has indicated that there are about 6,500 ‘site opportunities’ in the UK, 115,000 in Europe, 345,000 in North America and 500,000 in Africa and the Middle East.

Extracted from IChemE website - read more here

Posted in Opinion

Cite Top