Scottish start-up Gravitricity has secured a £912,000 grant from the UK Department of Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to build a 4 MWh gravity-based storage facility on an unspecified brownfield site in the United Kingdom.
“The feasibility project will complete in late 2022 and will provide the information required to commence the build of the full-scale commercial prototype multi-weight gravity energy store immediately thereafter, subject to securing planning permission and the necessary funds,” the company said in a statement. “This project will demonstrate multi-weight use and control using a single set of hoisting equipment and will pave the way to custom projects which can be built wherever they are required.”
The company completed last summer a 250 kW demonstration project, which was supported by a £640,000 grant from UK government funder Innovate UK. In this facility, a tower is powered by renewable energy to raise a mass in a 150-1,500 m shaft and discharges the electricity thus “stored” by releasing the mass to rotate the two power generators. The mass used in larger projects can range from 500 to 5,000 tons.
The technology is claimed to have a faster response time than lithium-ion storage technology and to be able to help stabilize electricity networks at 50 Hz by responding to full power demand in less than a second.
In October, Gravitricity also announced it was considering the deployment of its gravity energy storage system in Czechia, where it would be built at the decommissioned Staříč coal mine in the country's Moravian Silesian region. The mine consists of six deep sites that could potentially host the storage solution.
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