Cutting edge businesses, in locations including Scotland and Nottingham, are set to benefit from a share of £30 million to be at the forefront of designing and testing Britain’s innovative technology of the future that will modernise our energy system and store renewable energy for later use.
Capturing and storing energy for use when and where it is needed will play an essential role in powering more of Britain from Britain and increasing our country’s energy security.
The funding announced today will 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.
The nature of renewables means that on windy, sunny days sometimes more renewable electricity is generated than is needed, such as during extended periods of the sun shining or high winds. 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 £10 billion 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.
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; they are:
- Synchrostor, Cumbernauld, Scotland, which will receive £9.4 million 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 £11 million 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 £9.4 million 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. They will then install pilot units at two sites within a microgrid development in Colchester.
This announcement follows the £32.8 million funding awarded to five UK energy storage projects across the country in November 2022 to create first-of-a-kind prototypes of their technology. A total of £69 million of funding has been awarded so far through this programme, helping to drive innovative technologies such as energy storage.
Today’s 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.