UK Government Grants £30 Million For Long Duration Energy Storage Projects

The UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) is providing £30 million in grants for three long-duration energy storage (LDES) projects using novel energy storage technologies.
The three projects awarded funding are from Synchrostor, Invinity Energy Systems and Cheesecake Energy. Synchrostor and Cheesecake Energy are to receive £9.4 million each to fund therman energy storage systems and Invinity Energy Systems receiving £11 million to develop a vanadium flow battery.
It is the latest round of a £69 million funding programme for LDES technologies in the UK, for which smaller amounts were provided in February last year with another £30 million handed out to five projects in November.
“Storing energy for longer periods is vital to build a robust and secure energy system and ensure that renewable energy is used efficiently. Fortunately the UK has a wealth of pioneering businesses that are making their mark on this industry,” said the Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero Graham Stuart said.
“Today we’re backing three UK businesses to make their projects a reality, which will go on to play a role in our country’s energy security.”
Invinity’s four-hour 30MWh vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) project will be the largest to ever use the technology in the UK and the largest the firm has deployed to-date. Edinburgh-based Synchrostor is building a pumped thermal energy storage (PTES) demonstration project with 1MW of power, 10MWh of energy storage, and 10 hours of duration.
Cheesecake Energy will receive funding to test its FlexiTanker technology and install pilot units at two sites as part of a microgrid project in Colchester. The company’s technology uses a combination of thermal and compressed air energy storage (CAES) with a reversible air compression/expansion train to charge and discharge energy.
The funding is part of the £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the precursor to recently-formed DESNZ.
The past few years has seen the UK become one of the most developed markets for short-duration, lithium-ion energy storage, and industry stakeholders are now looking to set up the right mechanisms and incentives to kickstart the LDES sector.
DESNZ is looking to bring in LDES-specific policy sometime next year to help incentivise the long-term investment into projects, according to panellists at the Energy Storage Summit in London in February. Developers with pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) projects, the oldest LDES technology, say energy market rules need to be changed to make their projects viable.