News releases 2016
ETI appoints Atkins to identify salt caverns suitable for storing hydrogen and gas - 20 October 2016
The ETI will invest £170,000 in the six month project
- The project builds on earlier ETI work which showed that storing hydrogen in salt caverns could provide a significant contribution to decarbonising the UK’s future electricity grid
- The new project will identify and examine representative salt caverns in Cheshire, Teesside and East Yorkshire that could store hydrogen to be used in power generation.
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has selected Atkins to deliver a new project which will examine in further detail the potential for storing hydrogen and hydrogen gas mixtures underground in salt caverns which can then be used in gas turbines when demand for electricity is high.
The ETI is investing £170,000 in the six month project, which follows on from a report published last year, highlighting the potential role hydrogen storage could play in a clean, responsive power system.
The report focussed on hydrogen generation from fossil fuels, biomass or waste gasification or steam reforming of methane, all with carbon capture and storage. The use of a store and responsive gas turbine greatly improves the flexibility of power output to the grid, whilst allowing the hydrogen generator and CCS plant, to operate at peak efficiency.
The report showed how a single H2 cavern could cater for the peak energy demands and fluctuations of a whole city.
There are over 30 large salt caverns in use in the UK today storing natural gas for the power and heating market. Many of these could potentially be re-used for hydrogen storage or new caverns constructed in the extensive salt fields which are deep underground in many parts of the UK.
The new ETI project will identify and examine representative salt caverns in Cheshire, Teesside and East Yorkshire that could store hydrogen to be used in power generation. Atkins will work closely with the UK’s leading cavern storage operators, including Storengy, SSE Gas Storage and SABIC, who will provide critical data and technical expertise to assist in the development of hydrogen storage models for each region.
ETI CCS Strategy Manager Den Gammer said: "We believe that storing and using hydrogen could be a low cost way of providing clean power for peak and load following demand. A single cavern could potentially provide enough storage capacity to satisfy the peak demands of a UK city. This project will provide more detail on the suitability of individual caverns and the costs associated with using them, increasing the evidence base needed if they are to be developed further."
Marco Clemente, head of energy storage at Atkins, said: "Developing new forms of energy storage is vital to our energy infrastructure. Atkins has significant experience in the engineering and design of energy storage projects, and we are looking forward to working with the ETI on this exciting project. We wish to acknowledge and thank the UK’s leading cavern storage operators, including Storengy, SSE Gas Storage and SABIC, who will provide their critical data and technical expertise to assist Atkins in the development of the hydrogen storage model for each region."
The ETI’s Insight on the potential role of hydrogen storage can be found at http://www.eti.co.uk/carbon-capture-and-storage-the-role-of-hydrogen-storage-in-a-clean-responsive-power-system/
Notes to editors:
Atkins (www.atkinsglobal.com) is one of the world's most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing over 18,000 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe. We build long term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of our ideas. You can view Atkins’ recent projects on our website.
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