A world-first project will combine flow battery technology with tidal power to produce continuous green hydrogen.

hydrogen storage

EMEC hydrogen storage cylinders. Photo Colin Keldie

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Orkney, Scotland will deploy an Invinity Energy Systems 1.8 MWh flow battery at EMEC’s tidal energy test site on the island of Eday. This unique combination of tidal power and flow batteries will be used to power EMEC’s hydrogen production plant, demonstrating continuous hydrogen production from variable renewable generation.

Neil Kermode, managing director at EMEC, said: “This is the first time that a flow battery will have been coupled with tidal energy and hydrogen production, and will support the development of the innovative energy storage solution being developed in the Interreg NWE ITEG project.”

Funded with GB£1.8m from the Scottish Government, via Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Invinity’s modular flow battery system consists of eight Invinity VS3 battery modules linked together into a single system.

Invinity’s vanadium flow batteries (VFBs) are a form of heavy duty, stationary energy storage that provide hours of continuous power, one or more times per day, through decades of service.

At EMEC’s site, the system will store electricity generated by tidal turbines during high power periods, and discharge it during low power periods. This will ‘smooth’ tidal generation to create continuous, on-demand electricity to turn into hydrogen using EMEC’s 670 kW hydrogen electrolyser.

The project is expected to go live next year.

By Rebecca Jeffrey