Storing Electricity as Renewable Methane in the UK Gas Grid
DECC has announced today that 16 organisations have been awarded a share of £2 million to help develop innovative storage solutions for energy, as part of the Energy Technology Demonstration Competition.
One of the projects to be awarded grant funding is the innovative “P2G BioMet” project, led by Hydrogenics, along with consortium members CNG Services, Electrochaea a nd National Grid. Up to £40,000 was made available to cover parts of the costs of developing a detailed feasibility study for a 1MW power - to - gas facility to be built in the UK start ing in the second half of 2013. The project aims to demonstrate the convers ion of surplus electricity into methane for distribution via the existing natural gas grid ; effectively storing electricity by making, then storing, methane.
The Power-to-Gas via Biological Methanation system uses surplus renewable electricity to split apart water (electrolysis), releasing hydrogen and oxygen. Using Electrochaea’s biological catalyst, the hydrogen is then combined with CO2 (e.g. from biogas) to produce methane that can be injec ted into the National Grid.
John Baldwin, Managing Director of CNG Services Ltd commented:
“We are pleased to win support from DECC and are looking forward to working on this exciting project to create renewable methane from ex cess wind and CO2.”
The overall project objective is to develop the world’s first integrated power-to-methane unit. The unit will combine Hydrogenics’ electrolysis technology with Electrochaea’s methanation process. CNG Services are supporting the Project in relation to site selection and engineering, especially wit h regard to gas grid injection.
Greg Barker, UK Energy and Climate Change Minister, has been cited saying:
"This new investment will give these  organisations the boost they need to drive forward the development of a range of innovative energy storage designs, helping cut costs and bring new technologies to market in this sector. The ability to store e nergy in this way will become increasingly important in the move towards a low carbon economy and I wish the winning organisations every success with their projects."