Ofgem funding to explore underground hydrogen storage technology

National Gas has secured Ofgem Strategic Innovation Funding (SIF) to study a new type of underground hydrogen energy storage – developed by Edinburgh storage specialists Gravitricity – as a potential technology in their plan to decarbonise the UK gas network.

Gravitricity has developed H2FlexiStore – a novel, patented technology – which uses the geology of the earth to store up to 100 tonnes of pressurised hydrogen in a lined underground rock shaft. Gravitricity says it offers safe, low-cost storage which can be located wherever required.

National Gas (NG) – the UK’s gas transmission system owner and operator – is investigating the potential of  hydrogen transportation in using the current network infrastructure to support the Net Zero transition. Hydrogen storage could be a key element of any future hydrogen network and options are being reviewed and considered by National Gas to support supply and demand management.

They have now been awarded the first phase of a grant from Ofgem’s £450 million Strategic Innovation Fund to conduct a three-month feasibility study on the use of Gravitricity’s H2FlexiStore, which could lead to a full-scale demonstrator project commencing in 2025.

H2FlexiStore could then provide an option for intermediate storage across the UK alongside long term storage already in development with National Gas.

The project will be funded by energy network users and consumers through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), a programme from the UK’s independent energy regulator Ofgem managed in partnership with Innovate UK.