Drax embarks on battery storage research project
10th October 2017 | Commercial Energy
Drax Group is working with the University of Sheffield on cutting edge research that could help revolutionise the UK’s energy future. The company, which owns and operates the country’s largest power station, near Selby in North Yorkshire, is sponsoring three PhD projects at the university.
Having transformed half of its coal fired power station to sustainable biomass, to become the UK’s largest single site renewable generator, Drax is also developing four rapid response gas power stations. The energy company also announced that it is exploring options for repowering some of its cola units to gas and developing battery storage to help support the UK’s changing energy needs.
The projects Drax is working on with the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Storage and it Applications, are aimed at increasing understanding of developing technologies. The PhDs will focus the use of flow batteries for grid support, customer interaction with vehicle to grid systems using smart technology and the cleaning of exhaust streams for small power generators.
The research will be carried out by PhD students at the University of Sheffield over three years from October. Drax is also collaborating with the University on a potential fourth PhD in distributed energy storage which may be starting in 2018.
Dorothy Thompson, Drax Group chief executive, said, “The energy sector is changing beyond recognition in the UK and modern companies like Drax are transforming with it. The work with the University of Sheffield will help us to deliver on our aim of changing the way energy is generated, supplied and used for a better future.”
Jason Shipstone, head of Drax Group’s Research and Innovation Team, added, “Flexibility is already important for the UK’s electricity system, but it’s going to become vital as we continue to decarbonise and more electric vehicles take to the roads. Without the right storage and flexibility the UK’s power systems will struggle to meet the increasing demand.
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