RheEnergise to build UK hydro-energy storage system demonstrator near Plymouth

April 29, 2024

UK long-duration hydro-energy storage system developer RheEnergise is to build a system demonstrator at Sibelco’s mining operations at Cornwood, near Plymouth.

Work onsite to build the demonstrator will “start imminently” with its commissioning to start in September, a RheEnergise statement said.

RheEnergise’s ‘High-Density Hydro’ storage system uses a fluid – developed by the company – which is two-and-a-half times denser than water, and which can provide two-and-a-half times the energy when compared to “conventional low-density hydro-power systems that operate in the Scottish Highlands, Wales and other parts of the world”.

RheEnergise’s analysis of potential project opportunities has indicated that there are  around 6,500 site opportunities in the UK, approximately 115,000 in Europe, around 345,000 in North America and around 500,000 in Africa and the Middle East.

“The power generated by RheEnergise’s ‘High-Density Hydro’ demonstrator – it has a peak power production of 500kW – will support Sibelco’s mining operations at times of high energy demand and support the company’s work to decarbonise its operations,” the statement added.

The project is being supported through the UK Government’s Longer Duration Energy Storage (LODES) Demonstration Programme, while Devon County Council has granted permission for the project.

Ben Uphill, director operations at Sibelco said: “Sibelco is looking at new ways to manage and secure its future energy needs and at the same time decarbonise its operations, and so we are excited about the potential contribution that RheEnergise’s hydro storage project can make to our operations.  We are keen to adopt green technologies as part of an overall effort to reduce our carbon footprint, so we are delighted to be working with the RheEnergise team on this world-first.”

Stephen Crosher, chief executive of RheEnergise added: “We are hugely appreciative of the support and assistance given to us by Sibelco, the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero and Devon County Council.  Our scheme will help Sibelco’s energy security at Cornwood and show the long-term contribution it can make to the company’s Net Zero ambitions.”