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Offshore wind turbines

A new collaboration between Durham University and Crondall Energy Ltd to explore the potential of Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) in the UK continental shelf, has won backing from the UK government.

UK Government support

The partnership has been awarded £149,086 as part of the Government’s Longer Duration Energy Storage competition.  

CAES is a way to store energy generated at one time for use at another time.

The five-month project will explore the technical and economic feasibility of combining a CAES system with offshore infrastructure to deliver long-term energy storage capacity for the electric grid.

Flexible energy production

The UK is well placed to generate a significant amount of its energy from offshore wind but having the ability to store this would expand the potential for further growth.

A CAES system would use electricity from offshore wind to compress air which is then stored as a gas.

When needed, the system is reversed, and the compressed air powers a turbine to produce flexible electrical energy.

The project builds on previous work looking at the scaling-up of grid-scale electrical and thermal energy storage technologies and their roll-out to the UK energy system.

This new project will determine how cost effective and viable CAES is as a solution, when scaled up to the levels needed to meet UK needs.

Dr Andrew Smallbone from our Department of Engineering and Fellow of the Durham Energy Institute is part of the project team.

Future net-zero

Having a long-term energy storage, to use when we need it, is important to achieve a net-zero energy supply and help to slow down global warming.

Currently there are only a limited number of potential solutions which can deliver on this. 

New technologies that can provide longer duration grid flexibility, utilising excess electricity generation, are needed.

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