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ETI invests £14m in Isentropic’s plan to demonstrate its PHES technology

13 June 2012

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has provided project funding and an equity investment, together totalling £14m, to build a full scale demonstrator of Isentropic's low cost Pumped Heat Electricity Storage (PHES) system. Isentropic will use the funds to develop and deploy a 1.5MW/6MWh electricity storage unit on a UK primary substation owned by Western Power Distribution in the Midlands region.

The ETI, a partnership between the UK Government and six leading international energy and energy technology companies, has previously commissioned 36 renewable and low carbon projects worth £138m. However, this is the first time it has made an equity investment in any of the companies it has funded.

Isentropic’s PHES technology has the potential to dominate the large-scale electrical storage market because it offers the prospect of being the lowest cost solution to the intermittency problems of renewable energy sources, such as wind. The technology is environmentally friendly, has no geographical constraints, is compact and can demonstrate a round trip efficiency of 75%.

James Macnaghten, Isentropic’s CEO, says: “The equity investment and project funding by the ETI and its corporate partners represents a huge vote of confidence in our unique Pumped Heat Electricity Storage technology. We believe this project will allow us to demonstrate our leading position in the fast growing energy storage market.
“According to Lux Research’s report, 'Grid Storage under the Microscope: Using Local Knowledge to Forecast Global Demand', the global demand for grid storage will reach $113.5bn by 2017, from a $2.8bn market in 2012. I believe this timely investment could allow us to fulfil our mission to become the global leader in this fast growing industry.”

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