The UK government is hoping to drive the development of long-duration storage technologies through a new £20 million competition.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a competition that will award funding to up to three projects demonstrating “innovative, replicable” technologies that could provide a viable alternative to existing conventional large-scale energy storage technologies such as pumped storage hydro or batteries.
The so-called ‘storage at scale’ competition could include technologies such as compressed air, flow batteries and flywheels that can release energy over longer period of time compared with battery technologies currently being widely deployed in the grid.
So-called power-to-x technologies – which use hydrogen or ammonia, for example, to store excess energy generated by renewables – are also eligible for the competition. Entries are now being invited and the winner is set to be announced in July, BEIS said.
Build completion of selected projects is expected by March 2021. Entries must have a target minimum output power of 30 MW or minimum capacity of 50 MWh; power-to-x technologies should have a minimum target input power of 5 MW.
“We are moving to a cleaner, greener economy with renewable generation set to play an integral part of our smarter energy future,” said Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry. “Energy storage, which helps store electricity when the wind isn’t blowing or sun isn’t shining, can help us change the way we power the world for the better. This is why, as part of our modern Industrial Strategy, we're committing £20 million to commercialise novel energy storage technology which can provide the right infrastructure for our growing renewables industry.”