UK hillsides could host pumped-hydro energy storage system

An energy storage system from RheEnergise could be installed on thousands of hills around the UK, according to the company.

It uses dense liquid, which is two-and-a-half-times denser than water, and could therefore potentially provide two-and-a-half-times the power of equivalent conventional systems.

As reported by Professional Engineering, the High-Density Hydro systems would be built underground. Its developers said it could offer long-term energy storage at relatively low costs, with high energy efficiency.

Like conventional pumped hydro, it would use excess energy – such as that generated by wind turbines on a windy day with low demand – to pump the liquid uphill from underground storage tanks. After travelling uphill through underground pipes, the liquid would then be released to power downhill turbines when electricity demand is higher.

At the end of 2020, RheEnergise received funding from Innovate UK to develop a technology that solves the many disadvantages of other competing energy storage and grid flexibility solutions.

Unlike traditional pumped hydro energy storage, RheEnergise’s HD Hydro operates on small hills rather than mountains meaning there are infinitely more sites available for projects.
There is crowdfunding campaign to fund the next phase of its work and it aims to have its first commercial system operating in 2024, and over 100 systems within the next ten years.


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