The grant was awarded by the Danish electricity and gas grid operator Energinet.dk through the ForskEL technology demonstration programme. As part of the grant, Electrochaea will fund laboratory and engineering work as well as a feasibility study for the realization of a MW-scale power-to-gas facility to be built in Denmark starting in 2014. Insero Business Services will provide project administration and reporting services to the project.
Steen Vestervang, R&D Coordinator at Energinet.dk, says in a press release:
- "As the transmission system operator of the Danish electricity and gas grid, we see power-to-gas as an enabling technology for Denmark's future low-carbon energy system with a high penetration of wind energy. We believe Electrochaea has a highly interesting solution and hope that our support will help the company bring its technology to the next stage of development."
Mich Hein, CEO of Electrochaea, adds:
- "Energinet.dk has been promoting power-to-gas as part of their long term strategy to integrate their electrical power and gas grids for storage and reliable delivery of renewable energy. We are excited about their continued support and are confident that this grant will allow us to quickly scale our technology to megawatt size.´"
Electrochaea established a Danish subsidiary in 2011 assisted by Invest in Denmark. Minster for Trade and Investment, Mrs. Pia Olsen Dyhr, is pleased to see that the Danish operations are successful:
-“Denmark is a green frontrunner with the goal of being entirely free of fossil fuels by 2050 and this creates ideal framework conditions for cleantech companies like Electrochaea. Thanks to the grant from Energinet.dk they can now further develop their power-to-gas technology, which can solve some of the challenges for energy storage and transform the Danish gas grid to a green gas grid.
Power-to-gas is an innovative and disruptive concept for grid-scale energy storage. The large and growing penetration of wind and solar energy, which produce electricity intermittently and independent of demand, causes large supply/demand imbalances and stabilization challenges in the electricity grid. Power-to-gas converts such surplus electricity into methane, the principal component of natural gas, for direct injection into the existing gas infrastructure. Because the capacity of many natural gas networks is practically unlimited for the purpose of energy storage, the energy storage capacity of power-to-gas far surpasses that of batteries, pumped hydro, and compressed air energy storage. Once in the pipelines, the gas can be used for power production during peak-hours, as renewable gas in industry and transportation, and for long-distance energy transmission via existing pipelines.
A spin-off from the University of Chicago, Electrochaea is a clean technology start-up developing a disruptive technology for grid-scale energy storage. Electrochaea’s biocatalytic power-to-gas technology converts low-cost and stranded electricity into pipeline-grade methane for direct injection into the existing natural gas network. Backed by a number of high-profile strategic investors, Electrochaea is currently scaling its technology to commercial size through a series of technology development projects. The company has operations in Denmark and the United States.
Energinet.dk is an independent public enterprise owned by the Danish state as represented by the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building. Energinet.dk's tasks are to maintain the overall short-term and long-term security of electricity and gas supply, develop the main Danish electricity and gas transmission infrastructure, and support eco-friendly power generation and the development and demonstration of green energy production technologies, among others.