Northern Powergrid to support new battery research

Firm to work with academics at Newcastle University as part of new research institute

Northern Powergrid and Siemens are to work with academics at Newcastle University as part of the government’s new £65 million battery research institute.

Business secretary Greg Clark revealed plans earlier this week for the Faraday Battery Institute, which will bring together experts from seven universities across the country and businesses to develop the next generation of battery technology.

The universities involved in the project include Southampton, Imperial College London and Newcastle and work will be divided into three streams – research, innovation and scaling up.

The business secretary said the new institute will have a “critical role in fostering innovative research collaboration”.

“We have huge expertise in this area already and the Faraday Battery Institute collaboration between our seven founding universities provides a truly unique opportunity for us to bring together our expertise and an effort in this area behind a common set of strategic goals to ensure the UK exploits the jobs and business opportunities,” said Mr Clark.

The head of school engineering at Newcastle University, Professor Phil Taylor, said it will be looking at “material science, power electronic converters and system integration” as part of its work for the institute.

Northern Powergrid’s director of policy, Patrick Erwin, said: “By working in partnership, we’ll be able to explore how battery and electric vehicle technology can improve the services we can provide to our 8 million customers in the future and drive forward our work to support the transition to a better, smarter, more resilient, low-carbon energy system that will benefit future generations.”

Earlier this week, the car manufacturer Nissan announced plans to team up with Ovo Energy and launch a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) service in 2018.

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