Rheenergise awarded £8.25 million UK Government contract to build advanced hydro energy storage system in Devon

RheEnergise, the UK company that is developing a new and advanced form of long-duration hydro-energy storage system, has been awarded a £8.25 million small business research initiative (SBRI) contract from the UK Government’s Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) to deploy a first-of-a-kind demonstrator of its High-Density Hydro storage system.
Rheenergise awarded £8.25 million UK Government contract to build advanced hydro energy storage system in Devon
Courtesy of RheEnergise.

RheEnergise will deploy a 250kW/1MWh (4 hours) demonstrator at a mine, close to Plymouth, Devon within the next 18 months. The company’s High-Density Hydro storage system is low-cost, energy efficient and environmentally benign. Rather than using water, RheEnergise has developed a fluid, which is 2½ times denser than water, and which can provide 2½ times the power and 2½ times the energy when compared to a conventional low-density hydro-power system that operate in the Scottish Highlands, Wales and across Europe.

The contract is from BEIS’s Longer Duration Energy Storage (LODES) Demonstration Programme (Stream 2) which is a part of the UK Government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) that aims to accelerate the commercialisation of low-carbon technologies and systems. Earlier this year, RheEnergise secured a £150,000 grant from Phase 1 of the LODES Demonstration Programme.

“Accelerating renewables is key to boosting our energy resilience” said Graham Stuart, Minister for Climate at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. “Energy storage helps us get the full benefit of these renewables, improving efficiency and helping drive down costs in the long term. This £32.9 million of government backing (the total money announced today) will enable green innovators across the UK to develop storage technology, helping create new jobs and encouraging private investment, while also safeguarding the UK’s energy security.”

Stephen Crosher, Chief Executive of RheEnergise, added that over the next decade, Long Duration Energy Storage can make an important contribution to the UK energy market, and indeed globally and that Long Duration Energy Storage is a key to delivering the energy transition and will help strengthen the resilience and security of the UK’s energy system.

“It will be essential to the effective operation of the grid as it balances intermittent renewable generation, it helps to create effective base-load power from renewables, whilst at the same time keeping costs low” said Mr Crosher. “Our storage system offers a solution. BEIS’s contract is incredibly welcome and will enable us to accelerate the commercial deployment of our High-Density Hydro storage system in the UK and overseas. With the BEIS contract in place, we will be seeking planning consent for our Devon project before the end of the year. We are also pursuing a number of project opportunities elsewhere in the UK, continental Europe and Canada.  Drawing upon our work in Devon and the Government’s welcome support, we expect to have our first 5MW grid-scale project in operation in 2026.”

RheEnergise’s analysis of potential project opportunities has indicated that there are c6500 site opportunities in the UK, c115,000 in Europe, c345,000 in North America and c500,000 in Africa and the Middle East.

The BEIS contract award coincides with RheEnergise seeking further private investment to support the commercialisation and deployment of its technology.  In addition, RheEnergise will hold a Series A funding round in early 2023 for corporates and venture capital funds.

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