Scottish energy storage company goes Dutch to build 250kW gravity-driven generator

Charlie Blair
Charlie Blair

Scottish energy storage start-up Gravitricity has teamed up with drilling and subsea specialist Huisman to develop a scale demonstrator of their innovative gravity-fed energy storage system 

The Edinburgh-based company has signed an R&D agreement with the Dutch multi-national to develop a 250kW concept demonstrator and test it in the Netherlands and Scotland early next year – after which they plan to scale up to fully commercial 20 MW systems.

Gravitricity’s technology uses a massive weight suspended in mine shafts to capture power, and then release it in seconds.  It has received a £650,000 grant from Innovate UK to build the prototype.

The project partners believe Gravitricity can be a strong competitor in the frequency response market, where there is a requirement from grid operators for large, fast and frequent bursts of power to stabilise increasing amounts of renewables on the grid.

Charlie Blair, Gravitricity Managing Director, said: “This 250kW prototype will help us validate our simulations about how the technology works in practice and will give us the opportunity to utilise Huisman’s enormous experience in winches and cranes.

“At the same time Huisman and our engineers will begin detailed design of the winch drive modules for our full-size 4MW demonstrator, which will be deployed in a dis-used coal mine shaft in 2020.”

Peter Berting, Business Development Manager at Huisman, added: “Gravitricity’s low power cost and high cyclability sets it apart from other technologies. The recent global growth of renewable energy means there is a growing need for grid stabilisation, and their energy storage system plays directly into this market.

“The technology is scalable, easy to install and comes with a long lifetime. 

“Our ambition is to work with Gravitricity to develop an innovative commercial solution which will make a substantial contribution to grid stabilisation and safe future power supply to all its users.”

22 Mar 2018

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