Huge grant to make ‘grid-scale’ batteries

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A Rotherham energy company has been handed £800,000 to develop huge batteries that can store renewable energy and feed it into the electricity grid.

Cumulus will build a prototype ‘grid-scale’ battery that will supply the network at times of high demand - storing electricity until it is needed rather than using it when produced.

Managing director Nick Kitchin said: “The DECC grant, together with vital incubation support, has enabled us to raise finance and is accelerating our development programme.

“It feels like being on a surf board riding the crest of a wave.

“We are developing a copper/zinc grid-scale battery that will enable more renewable energy to be supplied to the grid.

“The money is enabling us to build a grid-connected commercial-scale operational prototype that will demonstrate the functionality of the end product prior to manufacture in the UK.”

It is one of 19 projects that have been awarded a share of £9 million through the third phase of the Government’s Energy Entrepreneurs’ Fund. It helps small and medium-sized businesses bring low carbon products to market.

Local firms can also now apply for an extra £5 million of funding following the launch of the fourth round of the fund.

Energy and climate change minister Amber Rudd said: “It is fantastic to see a local business in Rotherham benefit from the funding and I hope more will apply for the latest round.

“It is important we support businesses to get their projects off the ground.” The UK is leading Europe with two commercial-scale carbon capture and storage projects.

Without CCS, decarbonising the energy system will be up to £40 billion more expensive per year.