Cheesecake Energy awarded £9.4m for energy storage microgrid

Funding from the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero will be used to install pilot energy storage systems in Colchester. 

The supply of renewable energy can be a bit intermittent as it depends on factors such as the weather and seasons. But if that energy, when it’s available, can be stored effectively, we can have a green and reliable power source on demand.

black and white solar panels

Cheesecake Energy Ltd (CEL) in Nottingham is developing advanced thermal and compressed air energy systems to achieve this kind of medium to long-duration storage. The company’s ‘eTanker’ repurposes the engines from old service trucks so that they are capable of electrical power conversion with zero emissions. 

Such work has now been recognised by the UK Government, who are committed to investing in clean energy technologies to help reduce the UK’s carbon footprint. 

The award of £9.4m from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) will enable CEL to set up a microgrid of energy storage systems in a new, mixed-use development in Colchester to help manage local constraints. 

The site is due to include a solar farm capable of generating up to 8 megawatts (MW) and a central heat pump to supply a district heating network of residents and businesses located nearby. Excess energy generated from solar power can be stored in the system then used when demand is higher to reduce use of fossil fuels and the main grid. 

Paul Harris, CEO of CEL, said that, ‘This funding will also help CEL as we build a global partner network that will work with us to manufacture, deploy and service our systems.’ 

‘Energy storage is a critical component of the energy transition. We are delighted to receive this support from the UK government, which will enable us to accelerate our mission of delivering our green energy storage technology around the world.’  

Graham Stuart, Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero added: ‘Storing energy for longer periods is vital to build a robust and secure energy system and ensure that renewable energy is used efficiently. Fortunately, the UK has a wealth of pioneering businesses that are making their mark on this industry.’ 

Government-funded schemes throughout the UK schemes are using new technology to reduce carbon emissions. For example, Scotland’s first floating solar panels will be installed later this year. 

Photo by Nuno Marques


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