UK storage tech competition gets £20 million injection


The UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a new initiative – a competition for projects that have the potential to compete with established technologies on a commercial level.

Objectives include finding technologies that can drive down typical costs associated with storage technology and appeal to investors.

The competition entitled “Storage at Scale” will see up to three demonstration projects built and tested by the end of 2021.

The organisers are looking for electrical energy storage technologies with a minimum output of 30MW such as flow batteries, power-to-x projects, and even compressed air technologies with a minimum input of 5MW, that will result in the generation and storage of biomethane, hydrogen, or ammonia from renewable energy production.

Proposals that will be considered will focus on innovative large static electrical energy or power-to-x energy storage facilities at the pre-commercial stage of development. The competition is not open to conventional technologies such as lithium-ion, lead-iron batteries or pumped hydro generation.

Additionally, projects that have already been commercially deployed in the UK or elsewhere, or projects that have already been funded by the public sector in UK-based programmes at a similar scale will not be eligible.

These demo projects should present an emphasis on cost-competitive pricing in comparison to existing storage technologies, and submissions should address limitations such as degradation, lifetime issues, geographical restrictions, and also address safety and sustainability concerns.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “We are moving to a cleaner, greener economy with renewable generation set to play an integral part of our smarter energy future. 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.”

“That 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.”

Registrations will close on the 17th of April and proposals must be submitted by 26 April 2019.