A consortium led by Energy SRS has secured a £727,000 grant from Innovate UK to build a working prototype of a gravitational battery.

Energy will be stored by winching a giant weight up a bore hole and then released by dropping it back down.

The GENSSIS (Gravitational Energy Storage and Synchronous Inertial Stability) facility will have storage capacity of 1.2MWh and a maximum power output of 5MW, although this will only be achievable in short bursts. Its output will usually be limited to 3.2MW.

The project was established in 2015 and the concept development phase was completed in March. The consortium started preparing advanced designs earlier this month. It is aiming to finish the prototype and begin testing next year but is yet to decide on a location.

Brendan McGrath, chief executive of Energy SRS, said:“This innovation funding will give the project the cash injection it needs to prove this is a viable technology.

“The UK is a world leader in the storage market and delivering new and innovative solutions will be key to unlocking its full potential. Intermittent renewables give the grid new challenges and I believe our innovation will give the system a new solution to this problem.”

The other partners in the consortium are the University of Bristol, UK Power Reserve, PR Marriott Drilling, Caley Offshore Systems and Bayliss Consulting.

In February, Gravitricity was awarded £650,000 by Innovate UK to build a smaller 250kW gravitational battery prototype in a disused mineshaft.

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