Skip to content

GHD, one of the world’s leading professional services companies, has secured funding from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for a project aiming to demonstrate the use of an innovative hydrogen storage system. The project is in partnership with LAVO Hydrogen Storage Technology Pty Ltd, with the provision of a demonstrator location supported by the University of Chester, Thornton Science Park.

Funding has been provided through Stream 2 of BEIS’s Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration competition. The programme forms part of the Government’s 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, in which the Prime Minister committed £100m to address “Energy Storage and Flexibility Innovation Challenges” within the £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. The Programme will support the demonstration of innovative longer duration energy storage technologies which provide grid flexibility.

The project aims to demonstrate an energy storage system for hydrogen derived from grid electricity using LAVO’s innovative patented metal hydride. The hydride technology has seen initial demonstration in Australia; this project will apply this technology at a larger scale to demonstrate how it can support energy storage for the UK electricity network by providing low cost, and low carbon, hydrogen to local users in the North West of England.

The key characteristics of the project include:

  • Demonstration of the economics of creating hydrogen in times of excess renewables electricity generation, and storing in long-duration energy storage medium (metal hydrides);
  • Modular solution demonstrating scalability, providing benefits across multiple elements of an integrated energy system;
  • A simple, stackable hydrogen energy storage device, able to supply low or zero carbon hydrogen to a wide range of configurations and applications; and
  • Cost-effective, safe and efficient low-pressure storage of hydrogen.

The project offers the potential to be an important enabler for an emerging hydrogen economy, providing hydrogen for customers at low cost.

The location of the project will be at the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park in the North West of England, in close proximity to a number of existing and potential future hydrogen users, assisting in the creation of a ‘hydrogen hub’, and linking with the North West Hydrogen Alliance and the HyNet industrial decarbonisation cluster.

Commenting on the announcement, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said:

“Driving forward energy storage technologies will be vital in our transition towards cheap, clean and secure renewable energy.

“It will allow us to extract the full benefit from our home-grown renewable energy sources, drive down costs and end our reliance on volatile and expensive fossil fuels. Through this competition we are making sure the country’s most innovative scientists and thinkers have our backing to make this ambition a reality.” 

Commenting on the announcement, Dan Perry, Project Manager, GHD, said:

“GHD is committed to supporting the emergence of a hydrogen economy, to enable a future of reliable, secure and affordable low-carbon energy. We’re delighted to have the support of BEIS and to be working with our partner and the University of Chester on this important project to demonstrate the feasibility of longer duration hydrogen storage in the UK energy system. Collaborating with clients and industry partners around the world to develop and commercialise new solutions, such as LAVO, puts us in a strong position to harness the enormous opportunities presented by the global energy transition.”

Commenting on the announcement, Prof Paul Bissell, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation,) University of Chester, said: “I am delighted that the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park has been chosen as the proposed location for such an exciting and ground-breaking project. The research and innovation around the transfer to a hydrogen economy, can be uniquely demonstrated on site, bringing world leading technologies close to the research, innovation and skills development provided by the University."

Share this content