The department for business, energy and industrial strategy (Beis) is inviting bids for millions of pounds in grant funding to support development of large scale energy storage and small scale flexibility markets.
The large storage competition aims to help prove novel approaches to storage at scale.
While some businesses are developing novel large storage, such as the liquid air energy storage plant in Bury, there are many technologies that are probably more useful to the energy system than technologies such as lithium-ion batteries, which are attracting investment largely because they have already scaled.
Beis seeks “innovative, replicable solutions which could provide a market competitive alternative to conventional commercial large scale energy storage technologies, for example pumped-hydro or batteries (such as lithium ion, lead acid or sodium-sulphur).”
£20m is available between 2019 and 2021 for up to three projects. They must target a minimum output of 30MW or capacity of 50MWh. Technologies that convert power into other forms of energy, such as gas, are also in scope and must target a minimum input power of 5MW.
Parties must register interest by 17 April. Details here.
Small flex marketplaces
There is £4m in funding for up to three small flexibility market projects. The aim is to build exchanges where lots of different flexibility assets, such as storage, generation, load DSR can be offered by multiple sellers to multiple buyers.
Project teams can apply for up to £2.5 million grant funding for each demonstration project, but Beis said they must feature real participants, and deliver real services to the energy system. It also wants to see some households or small firms involved.