Gravitricity to launch trial energy storage project in Scotland

The pilot project aims to demonstrate the firm’s technology, which works by using excess electricity to lift 12,000 tonnes of weights in a deep shaft and releasing them at a later time to generate energy

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Energy storage startup Gravitricity is set to trial its energy storage technology at the Port of Leith in Scotland.

The pilot project will demonstrate Gravitricity’s energy battery technology, which works by using excess electricity to lift 12,000 tonnes of weights in a deep shaft and releasing them at a later time to generate energy – the trial aims to assess the response speed of energy generation once the weights are released.

The start-up has signed a land rental agreement with port operator Forth Ports for the demonstration project.

Construction work for the £1 million project is scheduled to commence in October 2020, with December marked for the commercial launch.

Gravitricity Lead Engineer Miles Franklin, said: “This grid-connected demonstrator will use two 25-tonne weights suspended by steel cables. In our first test, we’ll drop the weights together to generate full power and verify our speed of response. We calculate we can go from zero to full power in less than a second – which can be extremely valuable in the frequency response and back-up power markets.

“We will then run tests with the two single weights, dropping one after the other to verify smooth energy output over a longer period. Together, this two-month test programme will confirm our modelling and give us valuable data for our first full-scale 4MW project which will commence in 2021.”

The project is supported with a £640,000 grant by Innovate UK.

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