The UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) awarded 16 organizations a share of £2 million (US$3.1 million) to help develop innovative storage solutions for energy, as part of the £21-million (US$32.6 million) Energy Technology Demonstration Competition.
One of the projects to be awarded grant funding is the “P2G BioMet” project, led by Hydrogenics, along with consortium members CNG Services, Electrochaea and National Grid. Up to £40,000 (US$62,160) 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 starting in the second half of 2013.
The project aims to demonstrate the conversion 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 injected into the National Grid.
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 with regard to gas grid injection.