The Anonymous Widower

Ministerial Roundtable Seeks To Unlock Investment In UK Energy Storage

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Drax.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Business leaders have met with UK Energy Minister the Rt Hon Greg Hands MP to discuss how the government could unlock significant investment in vital energy storage technologies needed to decarbonise the power sector and help ensure greater energy independence.

The meeting was organised by the Long-Duration Electricity Storage Alliance, a new association of companies, progressing plans across a range of technologies to be first of their kind to be developed in the UK for decades.

This press release, which I found on the Drax website, has obviously been produced by the four companies; Drax, Highview Power, Invinity Energy Systems and SSE Renewables.

Greg Hands MP, who is the Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth said this.

The Long-Duration Electricity Storage Alliance is a key part of our plan to get the full benefit from our world-class renewables sector. Government have already committed £68 million of funding toward the development of these technologies.

“This will support the UK as we shift towards domestically-produced renewable energy that will boost our energy security and create jobs and investment.

The three CEOs and a director from SSE, make statements about what they are doing and what they need from Government, which are all worth reading.

  • Drax still needs planning permission for its flagship project at Cruachan, that is called Cruachan 2.
  • SSE are saying that the massive 30 GWh Coire Glas pumped hydro scheme has full planning permission and is shovel-ready.
  • Drax and SSE appear to be in favour of Cap and Floor regimes to support long term energy storage.
  • Highview Power and Invinity Energy Systems appear very optimistic.
  • Finance for capital cost is not mentioned. As billions will be needed for some of these schemes and the returns are very predictable, I assume that it has been promised.

After reading this press release fully, I too am optimistic.

Conclusion

I feel sure, that a sensible plan will evolve fairly soon, which will involve these four companies and possibly some others.

March 19, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

“Game-Changing” Long-Duration Energy Storage Projects To Store Power In Hydrogen, Compressed Air And Next-Gen Batteries Win UK Government Backing

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from EDF.

These are the first two paragraphs.

EDF UK has received £2 million in funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to support four innovative methods of storing energy for longer periods of time.

The four longer-duration energy storage demonstration projects will help to achieve the UK’s plan for net zero by balancing the intermittency of renewable energy, creating more options for sustainable, low-cost energy storage in the UK.

These are the projects.

Tech Transfer And Modification Of Metal Hydride Storage Used In Fusion Sector For Hydrogen (Protium) Storage

The project is described like this in the press release.

The first project will store electricity as hydrogen in a chemical form using depleted uranium hydride (UH3). The project will utilise Urenco’s depleted uranium liability – a waste product from fuel production and reprocessed spent MOX fuel – to safely store hydrogen as UH3, which has approximately twice the volumetric energy density as liquid H2. The project will see EDF R&D lead a consortium combining expertise in engineering and materials from University of Bristol, operating metal hydride storage at UKAEA and handling depleted uranium from Urenco.

Sounds like a good project. Especially, as it finds a use for Urenco‘s depleted uranium.

Pivot Power

Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, will work on two projects.

  • Delivering Power On Demand From Solar PV Using 40MWh Vanadium Flow Battery Storage System
  • Accelerate Commercialisation Of Zinc-Based Battery Storage

The first project was described in Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration Programme, Stream 1 Phase 1: Details Of Successful Projects.

This is what EDF says about the two projects which are linked.

Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, will support the delivery of two demonstration projects. The first project, delivered in partnership with Invinity Energy Systems plc (AIM:IES), will establish the feasibility of developing one of the UK’s largest storage-enabled solar power resources. If selected, Phase Two of this project, which includes a utility-scale 10 MW / 40 MWh Invinity Vanadium Flow Battery, would receive funding under the programme.

Pivot Power will also work alongside e-Zinc, with support from Frontier Economics, to ‘metalize energy’, deploying breakthrough technology that stores energy in zinc, an inexpensive and widely available metal that has a high energy density.

I’m a believer in storing energy in zinc, until it is proven, it’s not a good method.

The final project was also described in Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration Programme, Stream 1 Phase 1: Details Of Successful Projects.

The EDF press release adds this.

The final project will explore how electricity, converted into compressed air, can be stored in EDF’s existing gas storage facilities, where EDF Thermal Generation and R&D will partner with io consulting and Hydrostor.

I have a good feeling about this project.

February 24, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , | Leave a comment

Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration Programme, Stream 1 Phase 1: Details Of Successful Projects

The title of this post, is the same as that of this document from the UK Government.

This is the introduction.

Stream 1 aims to accelerate commercialisation of innovative longer duration energy storage projects through to actual demonstrations. During Phase 1, projects will be expected to mobilise their proposed technologies to prepare for potential deployment on the UK energy system.

These are the projects.

Ballylumford Power-to-X

This is the description of this project in Northern Ireland.

B9 Energy Storage will receive £986,082 to mobilise a 20MW membrane free electrolyser green hydrogen project. Using otherwise curtailed wind power, hydrogen produced will be stored in local underground salt caverns for later use as a fuel in transport and electricity sectors, creating a full-cycle hydrogen economy (production, storage, distribution and usage) on site.

Note.

Ballylumford power station is a 600 MW gas-fired power station, that provides half of Northern Ireland’s electricity.

A 20 MW electrolyser will produce just under nine tonnes of hydrogen per day.

This Google Map shows the location of the power station opposite the port of Larne.

Note.

Ballylumford power station is clearly visible to the East of the channel towards the bottom of the map.

Ballylumford is also the Irish end of the HVDC Moyle interconnector from Scotland, which has a capacity of 500 MW.

Ballylumford would appear to have enough power for a large electrolyser.

Salt Beds In Northern Ireland

This document on the British Geological Survey web site is entitled Geological Storage In Northern Ireland.

The document discusses Irelands energy needs and gives a good description of using compressed air energy storage in salt caverns.

Then these two paragraphs describe the salt bed in Northern Ireland compare them to other deposits under Great Britain.

Thick halite deposits, found both onshore in Northern Ireland and immediately offshore in the North Channel, offer potential for salt cavern storage facilities. The salt deposits occur as bedded deposits with minor halokinesis (geological movement of salt) forming salt swells rather than pillows or domes so that the height of any cavern may be restricted by bed thickness. Pure salt beds tend to be thin (approximately 100-250 metres maximum thickness) compared to those used elsewhere and the presence of significant insoluble impurities and minor intrusive dolerite dykes or sills may reduce their suitability.

The Larne and Carrickfergus area of County Antrim is the only part of the whole island where thick salt beds occur. Elsewhere in the UK parts of Cheshire, Lancashire, Teesside, Humberside and Dorset have similar, or thicker, developments of salt beds and gas storage facilities are either in construction, or are already in operation.

It would appear that the thick salt beds in the Larne and Carrickfergus area could be suitable for gas storage.

Ballylumford might actually be on top of the salt beds, as Carrickfergus is a few miles to the South.

On a personal note, I used to work for ICI Mond Division and during that time and immediately afterwards, I met many people, who had been into the salt mines and worked with boreholes extracting the salt and the one thing everybody said about the salt mine, was that water must not get in.

Membrane-Free Electrolysis

I saw this in operation when I worked at ICI Mond. Most of their hydrogen and chlorine was produced using the main Castner-Kellner process at Castner-Kellner works in Runcorn. That is a nasty process that uses a lot of mercury, which got into the air and plant operators’ bodies.

But ICI also had a much smaller plant, where they used simple electrolysers, that had a metal cell, with a concrete top, with the anode and cathode going through the concrete into the brine. I seem to remember that its main purpose was to provide mercury-free hydrogen, chlorine and sodium hydroxide. I can remember seeing workers rebuilding the cells, as was done on a regular basis.

These were membrane free electrolysers and had been running successfully for many years.

Searching the Internet for “membrane free electrolyser” I found a company in Doncaster called CPH2.

The home page on their web site declares

Clean Power Hydrogen are the manufacturers of the unique Membrane-Free Electrolyser

Turning to the About page, this is said.

Being passionate about hydrogen as clean energy for the future, we wanted to find an alternative to PEM electrolysers as these had barriers to adoption. We realised that the cleanest way to produce hydrogen was by membrane-free water electrolysis, and in doing so, it would be a less expensive and more robust technology.

Dr. Nigel Williamson and Joe Scott established CPH2 (Ireland) in 2012 with the ambition to help clean up the environment for our children and future generations. Entering the green technology sector; a high growth and profitable market, they developed a Membrane-Free Electrolyser™ to produce hydrogen faster, more reliably, and more cost-effectively than other electrolysers.

They also have the ambition to be leading developer and manufacturer of green hydrogen technologies and an Irish connection.

My experience says that their technology will work. Especially, with the application of modern materials.

Have the Government backed the Ballylumford Power-to-X project, as they can back two promising technologies with one grant?

GraviSTORE

This is the description of this project.

Gravitricity Limited will receive £912,410.84 to design their multiweight energy store demonstrator project, which will store and discharge energy by lifting and lowering multiple weights in a vertical underground shaft.

Note.

  1. I like the Gravitricity concept and have invested through crowdfunding.
  2. The project will be based on a brownfield site in Northern England.
  3. Gravitricity’s current demonstrator in Edinburgh, which I wrote about in Gravitricity Celebrates Success Of 250kW Energy Storage Demonstrator, only uses a single weight, but this project talks about multiple weights.

According to other sources on the Internet, the demonstrator will have a storage capacity of 4 MWh and will be built on a brownfield site.

Will we see Gravitricity coming to a disused deep coal mine near you?

Long Duration Offshore Storage Bundle

This is the description of this project.

Subsea 7 Limited and FLASC B.V. will receive £471,760.00 to further develop the Long Duration Offshore Storage Bundle which will store energy as a combination of pressurised seawater and compressed air, using an innovative hydro-pneumatic technology.

Note.

  1. Subsea 7 Limited are a subsea engineering, construction and services company serving the offshore energy industry, domiciled in Luxembourg with headquarters in London.
  2. According to their web site, FLASC B.V. is a spin-off of the University of Malta, established in The Netherlands in 2019.

On the page on the FLASC web site, which is labelled The Technology, this is said.

FLASC is an energy storage device that can be integrated directly into a floating offshore platform. Energy is stored using a hydro-pneumatic liquid piston, driven by a reversible pump-turbine.

Charging Mode: electricity is used to pump water into a closed chamber containing pre-charged air.

Discharging Mode: the pressurised water is released through a hydraulic turbine to generate electricity.

FLASC leverages existing infrastructure and supply chains, along with the marine environment itself as a natural heatsink, resulting in a safe, reliable and cost-effective solution.

There is also this video.

The news page on the FLASC web site is a comforting read.

My knowledge of modelling vessel systems for chemical plants, tells my brain to like it.

Vanadium Flow Battery Longer Duration Energy Asset Demonstrator

This is the description of this project.

Invinity Energy Systems will receive £708,371 to demonstrate how a 40 MWh Vanadium Flow Battery could deliver long duration storage-enabled power on demand from UK-based solar generation.

Note.

  1. I wrote about Invinity Energy Systems in UK’s Pivot Power Sees First Battery On Line By 2021.
  2. Invinity Energy Systems was formed by a merger of RedT and Avalon Battery.
  3. The project appears to be located at Bathgate in Scotland.

This picture from EdF shows a large vanadian flow battery.

Invinity Energy Systems flow battery at Energy Superhub Oxford

If this project works out, vanadium flow batteries would be a good replacement for lithium-ion batteries.

Cheshire Energy Storage Centre

This is the description of this project.

io consulting will receive £1 million to enable its consortium to develop an electricity storage facility which could use mothballed EDF gas cavities in Cheshire utilising Hydrostor’s Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage technology

Note.

  1. This is another project based on salt caverns.
  2. I wrote about Canadian company; Hydrostor in Gigawatt-Scale Compressed Air: World’s Largest Non-Hydro Energy-Storage Projects Announced.
  3. Hydrostor have received at least one large order for their system.

I have put Hydrostor on my list of tecnologies that should make it.

Conclusion

This is a well-balanced list of projects.

I would rate success as follows.

  • Ballylumford Power-to-X – 60 %
  • GraviSTORE – 80 %
  • Long Duration Offshore Storage Bundle – 60 %
  • Vanadium Flow Battery Longer Duration Energy Asset Demonstrator – 70 %
  • Cheshire Energy Storage Centre – 80 %

But then all these projects are a bit of a gamble

 

February 24, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

UK’s Pivot Power Sees First Battery On Line By 2021

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Argus Media.

The article is a review of what is happening in the UK and this is the introductory paragraph.

UK firm Pivot Power is now targeting a 2021 start for its first two 50MW lithium-ion battery storage projects, while a 50MW liquid air energy storage project and another 50MW battery recently announced they were targeting completion by 2022.

The article gives several pieces of information about Pivot Power.

  • Their two batteries are at Kemsley and Cowley.
  • The two batteries appear to be running late.
  • The company has a portfolio of forty projects with s total size of 2 GW.
  • The Cowley battery will be co-located with a 2MW/5MWh Vanadium flow battery operated by storage firm redT.
  • Pivot Power is owned by EdF.

Good to see redT involved, although they seemed to have merged with Avalon Battery to form Invinity Energy Systems. The new web site describes them as the world’s leading vanadian-flow battery company.

This page on the web site is the Press Release about the merger.

This paragraph from the Press Release, describes where vanadium flow batteries fit in the market.

Vanadium flow batteries are a form of heavy-duty, stationary energy storage, used primarily in high-utilisation applications such as being coupled with industrial scale solar generation for distributed, low-carbon energy projects. This sort of application requires daily, heavy use and is well suited to flow battery technology, which is expected to become a £3.5bn market by 2028.

I don’t know much about vanadium-flow technology, but this company could probably be added to a list of companies, who might make it.

 

June 27, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , | Comments Off on UK’s Pivot Power Sees First Battery On Line By 2021