Sheffield firm powering up after £1m grant

Dr Alex Mardapittas, with one of EMSc's Powerstar voltage optimisation systems
Dr Alex Mardapittas, with one of EMSc's Powerstar voltage optimisation systems
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A Sheffield energy storage equipment company has been given a 1.65m euro (£1m) grant to help firms go ‘off grid’.

EMSc, of Ecclesfield, has received European Commission cash to combine its Powerstar Virtue batteries with a renewable energy system to help firms save money.

Managing director Dr Alex Mardapittas said: “We are extremely pleased to have been awarded the funding, which will be used towards the further development and commercialisation of Powerstar Virtue.

“Securing it justifies our decision to continually develop and evolve our technology solutions to meet changing market demands.

“We are very much looking forward to working with E.ON, a major retailer and Warwick University on what will be an exciting project.”

The EC’s Horizon 2020 grants are aimed at driving economic growth and creating jobs.

EMSc was one of only four per cent of companies, from nearly 700 applicants, that were successful at securing funding, it claims.

Only one other South Yorkshire company, oil well specialist Cutting and Wear, has received the same grant. Last month, it received 2.2m euros to develop a drilling tool.

Meanwhile, Fripp Design of Rotherham is bidding for 2m euros to take its world first – 3D printing with silicon – to market.

EMSc’s Powerstar Virtue units come with the firm’s voltage optimisation equipment which ensures the right amount of electricity is used, saving money.

Any surplus is used to charge the batteries instead of being sent back to the grid.

The firm claims it is a world first, allowing companies to go off-grid when electricity prices spike.

And it hopes it will be a hit with high energy users – such as steelworks – especially in the US.

EMSc has enjoyed stellar growth thanks to its voltage optimsation equipment which can help firms save up to 26 per cent on electricity.

The firm now exports to 20 countries and employs more than 70 staff. Established in 2001, it moved to much larger premises in Ecclesfield in 2013.