New Hydro Tech Turns Hills into Renewable Energy Batteries

For ages, pumped hydro storage has been a reliable method to store and generate energy. Traditional systems use excess electricity during off-peak times to pump water up mountains or large hills. Later, when energy is needed, the water is released, flows downhill, and turns turbines to produce electricity.

But what if we didn’t need large mountains or coupious amounts of water?

RheEnergise, a pioneering UK company, has found a way to make use of even modest hills in energy storage. They’ve introduced an inventive alternative: instead of water, they use a unique “high-tech fluid” named R-19.

Hills Powering Tomorrow

This fluid is said to be 2.5 times denser than water. But what’s so special about this R-19 fluid? Not only is it denser than water, but it’s also environmentally friendly.

RheEnergise keeps the exact nature of R-19 under wraps, revealing only that it’s formed from an “ultra-cheap” powder added to water. The same energy can be produced with just 40% of the usual elevation change due to its density.

This not only reduces material and installation costs but also means the tanks can be much smaller, often tucked away underground.


A Greener Energy Storage Option

When you think of renewable energy, hills might not be the first thing that springs to mind. Yet, the innovative approach by RheEnergise is set to change that.

Individual projects aim to feed between 10 and 50 MW of energy back into the grid, which means this technology could significantly aid in addressing renewable energy needs.

It offers a flexible solution for daily, weekly, or even seasonal energy shortfalls.

RheEnergise, in collaboration with Mercia Power Response, aims to deploy 100 MW of R-19-driven energy storage by 2030. What’s more, they’ve identified over 6,500 possible sites in the UK alone.

While lithium-ion “big battery” projects might have a quicker energy output, the method RheEnergise proposes seems to excel in longer-duration storage, perfect for ensuring consistent power delivery.

Exploring New Territories

The push for cleaner energy solutions is seeing a range of innovations. European countries are gravitating towards greener energy systems, and storage solutions are in demand to sustain the supply of renewables.

RheEnergise’s approach isn’t just about innovation; it’s also about speed. Sophie Orme, RheEnergise’s commercial director, says that their systems can be set up in 1-2 years and planning permissions can be secured within months.

Stephen Crosher, RheEnergise’s chief executive, remarked, “Our HD Hydro technology can provide medium and long-duration energy storage, which is becoming increasingly important as the UK’s energy system is increasingly reliant on intermittent renewables.”

The company’s ambitions aren’t limited to the UK. Crosher shared, “We are also pursuing project opportunities in continental Europe and Canada. We expect our first 5MW grid-scale project to be operational in 2026.”

To top it off, RheEnergise secured a £8.25m grant from the UK government, designated for building a 250kW demonstrator in a Devon mine within a year. RheEnergise is definitely ready to bring innovative and environmentally conscious energy storage solutions in the UK and the planet as a whole.