Huisman to deliver gravitybased grid stabilisation system

Today Huisman has announced that it has signed a contract with its partner Gravitricity from Edinburgh, UK, to deliver a 250kW gravity based grid stabilisation concept demonstrator.

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The Gravitricity system is designed to stabilise the utility power grid by means of lifting and lowering a weight, enabling competitive global green energy storage and discharge. The demonstration system will be built in Europe and is to be installed in the UK. The system is set to be operational by the end of 2020.

While every day more renewable energy is added to today’s power grids, the instability of the grids increases day by day as well. This instability is mitigated by frequency response applications. Gravitricity has developed a concept for stabilising the grid by lifting and lowering large weights.

Huisman has been performing full electric lifting and lowering of large loads since 1984 and uses various solutions to stabilise the power system of offshore vessels (basically stabilising the power grid). Based on the knowledge and track record of Huisman, Gravitricity decided to team up with Huisman to further develop the principle for land grids into a step changing solution.

The 250kW system will demonstrate the working principles of Gravitricity’s energy storage system and will validate dynamic behaviour simulations. The concept demonstrator will also confirm commercially important output characteristics and grid compatibility. After successful testing, a full scale prototype will be installed in a European mineshaft by 2022. The companies then plan to start construction of a commercial 20 MW scalable system through a pipeline of projects in the UK, Europe, South Africa, Australia and the Americas.

Peter Berting, Director Global Business Development Manager Huisman: “We are delighted to start with this project that enables competitive global green energy storage and discharge by using the existing innovative Huisman technology and capabilities in a growing market. We are very pleased to contribute to the current energy transition with this step changing green solution.”

Cees van Veluw, Product Manager Cranes Huisman: “This is a perfect example of using our expertise and service combined with Gravitricity’s technology and intellectual property in a new market application and we are highly motivated to deliver this first and full scale equipment.“

Charlie Blair, Managing Director of Gravitricity: “Our solution is cost effective, very long lasting and has a high round trip efficiency and fast response time. It is also non-polluting especially compared with battery storage. Electricity grids are changing as we transition to 100% renewables and our technology has a great part to play as an infrastructure asset built into grids. It’s fantastic to have signed a major contract with Huisman after two years working with them on our design.”