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Boffins spotlight energy storage

Spire 2 project will develop consumer-owned technologies

Boffins spotlight energy storage image

Ulster University is leading an EU-funded project to develop consumer-owned energy storage technologies that can help increase the use of renewables.

The Spire 2 project will cover areas ranging from thermochemical material storage to heat pump design and ways to prevent biofouling.

It has received €6.7m in funding from the EU’s Interreg VA initiative, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

Ulster University is joined on the project by three research institutes and 14 businesses.

The partner organisations are Queen’s University Belfast, Strathclyde University, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Arbarr Group, Sunamp, Glen Dimplex, AES Kilroot Power, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Community Energy Scotland, B9 Energy Group, Climote, SSE, Energia, ESB Innovation, Ulster Farmers Union and The Authentic Food Company.

The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland have also provided funding for the project.

Special EU Programmes Body chief executive Gina McIntyre said: “This is an innovative cross-border collaborative project which has the potential to make a lasting impact within the renewable energy sector, to benefit everyone in this region.”

Ulster University Centre for Sustainable Technologies director and Spire 2 project leader Neil Hewitt said: “The Spire 2 project will help to deliver (modernisation of energy markets) by looking at how energy storage resources owned by homeowners and businesses can resolve the problem of the variability of output from renewable energy.

“If consumers can store energy effectively, that will allow very high levels of renewables to be integrated into power grids globally, at the same time as putting consumers at the heart of the energy system.”

Image: Ulster University

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