RheEnergise, a UK company specializing in long-duration hydro-energy storage, is set to construct its first-of-a-kind demonstrator at Sibelco's mining site in Cornwood, near Plymouth. Work onsite to build the demonstrator will start imminently with its commissioning to start in September.

The project, supported by the UK Government's Longer Duration Energy Storage (LODES) Demonstration Programme and Devon County Council, aims to utilize RheEnergise's High-Density Hydro® (HD Hydro) system to support Sibelco's mining operations during periods of high energy demand and aid in their decarbonization efforts. 

The HD Hydro demonstrator, with a peak power production of 500kW, will assist Sibelco in managing its energy needs sustainably while reducing carbon emissions. The Cornwood site produces kaolin, mainly for sanitary ware, ceramics, tiles and industrial applications.

“Sibelco is looking at new ways to manage and secure its future energy needs and at the same time decarbonise its operations, and so we are excited about the potential contribution that RheEnergise’s hydro storage project can make to our operations,” said Ben Uphill, Director Operations at Sibelco. “We are keen to adopt green technologies as part of an overall effort to reduce our carbon footprint, so we are delighted to be working with the RheEnergise team on this world-first.”

Stephen Crosher, Chief Executive of RheEnergise, added: “We are hugely appreciative of the support and assistance given to us by Sibelco, DESNZ and Devon County Council. Our scheme will help Sibelco’s energy security at Cornwood and show the long-term contribution it can make to the company’s Net Zero ambitions.

“The demonstrator is a trailblazing project for the LDES sector and will place us in a strong position to build commercial-scale projects in this country and overseas. We have global interest in our technology, from as far as Australia and Chile. We would like to have our first 10MW grid-scale project in operation within 2 years.”

RheEnergise's HD Hydro system, distinguished by its low cost, energy efficiency, and environmental compatibility, utilizes a denser fluid compared to traditional hydropower systems, providing greater energy output, the company said.