Mercia Power Response, which provides flexible power response services to the UK grid, has signed an agreement with storage tech developer RheEnergise to explore the potential deployment of a new form of long-duration hydro-energy storage.
Known as High-Density Hydro, Mercia Power Response and RheEnergise will work together to identify suitable sites for additional HD Hydro storage projects.
The initial focus will be the feasibility of getting 100MW of HD Hydro in commercial operation by 2030 by using Mercia’s existing grid connections.
Stephen Crosher, RheEnergise’s chief executive commented on the announcement: “Mercia PR’s experience in flexible power response and its deep knowledge of the UK energy system will be hugely beneficial to the RheEnergise team.
“Our HD Hydro technology can provide medium and long duration energy storage, which is becoming increasingly important as the UK moves towards net zero and with a UK energy system that is increasingly reliant on intermittent renewables.”
The existing 40 sites have a combined capacity of 263MW and several sites are under development and construction over the next 5-10 years, according to RheEnergise.
The HD Hydro system uses an environmentally benign fluid, 2.5 times denser than water, which can provide 2.5 times the power when compared to a conventional low-density hydro-power system.
The developer states how this enables HD Hydro to be deployed beneath the surface of hills rather than mountains, opening up opportunities in the UK and globally.
Said Graham White, CEO at Mercia PR: “It is very exciting to explore how we can engage with RheEnergise’s HD Hydro technology, applying our expertise in finding the right locations, developing sites, getting grid connections and operating within the Capacity Market.
“We see enormous potential for HD Hydro deployment as a future low-carbon alternative to our existing gas-powered assets.”
Added Sophie Orme, commercial director of RheEnergise: “Given the growing pressure to speed up the decarbonisation of the UK’s energy system, our HD Hydro system can be consented in months rather than years, so we are able to make a meaningful and positive impact on the energy transition over the next decade.
“With our partnership with Mercia PR, we will have a better understanding of the feasibility of deploying 100MW of long duration storage capacity by 2030.”