The Dancing Ladies of Gigha — a set of community-owned wind turbines — are about to be joined in their Scottish island idyll by a less dynamic but potentially more important electrical innovation: a battery. But not just any old battery. The shipping container-sized object to be installed on Gigha is a “vanadium redox flow battery”, a new class of device that supporters say could revolutionise the global renewables sector. Growing reliance on renewable but intermittent sources of power such as solar and wind have created a huge need to smooth out peaks and troughs in supply and so keep the lights on at night or on calm days. The UK government-funded trial on Gigha, site of Scotland’s first community-owned grid-connected wind farm, will demonstrate that vanadium redox flow is now commercially viable, says Scott McGregor, chief executive of the device’s developer, redT.
FT 13th Sept 2016 read more »