The firm, whose system stores electricity by raising and lowering heavy weights in a shaft, has secured £912,000 from the Department of Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of efforts to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative energy storage projects that can contribute to net zero
Gravitricity along with partners will deliver the front-end engineering design for a four-megawatt hour, multi-weight system using a custom-built shaft. The £1.5m feasibility project will complete in late 2022, and follows the company’s 250-kilowatt demonstrator, which was commissioned and operated in Leith last summer.
The company – whose offering is predicted by analysts at Imperial College to offer long-duration energy storage at a lower levelised cost than alternative technologies such as lithium ion batteries – is also advancing plans to get off the ground this year to build a full-scale single-weight project in a disused mine shaft in mainland Europe.
MD Charlie Blair says: “Our multi-weight concept has been proven by our Leith demonstrator where two 25 tonne weights were configured to run independently, delivering smooth continuous output when lowered one after the other. We were able to demonstrate a roundtrip efficiency of more than 80 per cent, and the ability to ramp up to full import or export power in less than a second.
“This project [in England] 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.”