Press release

£8 million boost for energy storage innovation

Two British companies have been awarded over £8million to spur on innovation in storing energy, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker announced today.

Two British companies have been awarded over £8million to spur on innovation in storing energy, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker announced today.

The announcement comes as UK public funders of low carbon innovation today provide enhanced investor certainty, with the publication of a joint Strategic Framework by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group.

The contract has been awarded to a partnership of Viridor Waste Management Ltd and Highview Power Storage, as part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s innovation competition to support energy storage technology research and development.

Viridor and Highview will use the funding to develop a technology to store air in a liquid format, which can then be used to supply electricity at times of high demand. The technology will be connected to the National Grid, and will be used to test balancing supply and demand using stored energy.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

“Storing energy will become increasingly important in the move towards a low carbon economy, and has the potential to save the energy system over £4 billion by 2050.

“Energy storage systems are potentially revolutionary technologies - just imagine how much the energy system will change if we’re able to manage supply and demand better by storing energy cost-effectively, not to mention the benefits for British research and manufacturing industries.”

Gareth Brett, CEO of Highview Power Storage, said:

“By selecting to fund the demonstration of Highview’s Liquid Air Energy Storage system, DECC has given a British company a great opportunity to begin commercialising a home grown, innovative technology that has the potential to make a major contribution in terms of helping balance electricity systems in the future.

“The collaboration with Viridor will enable Highview to showcase the technology at larger scale, harvesting waste heat from landfill gas engines and demonstrating our readiness for deployment elsewhere.”

Viridor Chief Executive, Ian McAulay said:

“We are pleased to have secured funding for this important project. With ever growing pressure on natural resources, it is essential that we develop innovative and sustainable methods to generate and store energy not only to cut down our carbon footprint but to ensure long-term energy security.

“Innovation has been at the heart of successful businesses in Britain and it is great news that the government recognises and supports its development.”

At present, almost all electricity is generated when required and networks are designed to accommodate highest demands, even if they are of very short duration.

Energy storage systems offer the opportunity to store surplus electricity for use at times of high demand. This innovative technology could play an important role in supporting UK growth in low carbon, renewable energy sources and in maintaining security of electricity supply in the UK.

Notes for editors

  1. The Viridor-Highview liquid air energy storage demonstration project was awarded funding under DECC’s Energy Storage Technology Demonstration Competition. The Competition was launched in October 2012 with a budget of up to £17m. In November 2013, DECC announced the three winning demonstration projects:
    • Moixa Technology Ltd (awarded contract of £1.3m, excluding VAT, to install and demonstrate its battery storage unit in about 300 homes across the UK);
    • REDT UK Ltd (awarded contract of £3.0m, excluding VAT, to build and test its redox flow battery technology on the Isle of Gigha to store surplus wind energy for use in the local electricity network when required); and
    • EValu8 Transport Innovations Ltd (awarded £2.8m contract, excluding VAT, on behalf of the EVEREST Consortium, to develop a new storage system, partly made out of recycled batteries from electric vehicles, which will store renewable energy generated at times of low demand for use at times of peak demand).
  2. Successful bidders are asked to build a demonstrator of their energy storage technology and test it in realistic conditions. Bidders are expected to demonstrate their storage technology at sufficient scale and under sufficiently real conditions to be able to demonstrate that the proposed technology could cost-effectively address grid-scale storage needs for the UK electricity network.
  3. Further details on DECC’s low carbon innovation programme
  4. Further information about the Highview liquid air energy system
  5. Energy storage is one of the technologies highlighted in the new Strategic Framework, published today by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG). The LCICG brings together UK public-funded investors in low carbon innovation. Today’s publication, Coordinating Low Carbon Technology Innovation Support, sets out LCICG’s assessment of the new technologies needing government support out to 2020. It also shows how UK public funders are coming together to prioritise and provide targeted investment, as we transform our energy system for the future. The Strategic Framework is available at the LCICG website
  6. Media contact for Viridor: Victor Perez-Mares, Senior Communications Manager, +44 (0) 1732 229 200, +44 (0) 7789 226 434 or vperez-mares@viridor.co.uk
  7. Media contact for Highview Power Storage: Rob Sinclair, Corporate Communications Manager, or Alicia Moghtader, Communications Executive, +44 (0) 207 872 5800 or media@highview-power.com

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