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StrataStore: An innovative Compressed Air Energy Storage solution

By EDF | Posted May 04, 2022

DESNZ has awarded almost £7 million to UK projects that are developing innovative energy storage technologies, in first round of government-backed competition. These projects will benefit from this funding to develop new energy storage technologies that can utilise stored energy as heat, electricity or as a low-carbon energy carrier like hydrogen. Ranging from the development of thermal batteries to converting energy to hydrogen, they have been selected because of their potential to improve technology performance and reduce the cost of meeting net zero

The first round of funding is awarded under Phase 1 of the Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration competition (LODES), part of the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. Phase 1 will be followed by Phase 2, which will see the remainder of the £68 million funding awarded to several of the most promising 

As part of the first round of funding, EDF thermal generation alongside EDF UK R&D, io consulting and Hydrostor Inc. has secured £1 million from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ)  to develop storage of electricity as compressed air, utilising Hydrostor’s Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage technology, which could use mothballed EDF UK gas cavities in Cheshire.

The intermittent nature of renewables like solar and wind power means that energy can be produced when it is not needed, such as during extended periods of high wind. However, as new technologies, like the proposed Compressed Air Energy Storage one, are developed, this energy can be stored for longer, helping manage electricity generation variations and increasing resilience, while also maximising value for money. Therefore, driving forward energy storage technologies like this will be vital in our transition towards cheap, clean and secure renewable energy. It will allow to extract the full benefit from home-grown renewable energy sources, drive down costs and end UK’s reliance on volatile and expensive fossil fuels. 

This will not only help reduce the nation’s dependence on expensive fossil fuels, but will also provide cheaper energy to consumers, and will mean more of the UK’s energy is produced domestically. The green energy transition will therefore involve ensuring the UK’s electricity infrastructure can cope with greater shares of renewables, while meeting power demands securely.

The LODES initiatives are yet another demonstration of the UK’s commitment to building a thriving low carbon economy. EDF greatly appreciates DESNZ’s vision for that future, especially the vital role that safe, reliable and robust long-duration energy storage has to play on a Net Zero UK electric grid. In realizing that vision we are tremendously pleased to be working with DESNZ, io consulting and Hydrostor Inc. to plan the deployment of a Compressed Air Energy Storage unit utilising mothballed EDF gas cavities in Cheshire. We believe that the funding allocated to our consortium is a key step towards supporting the development and commercialisation of this innovative energy storage technology, in turn supporting the UK’s transition to relying on renewables, while also encouraging private investment and new green jobs.