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EU-backed low carbon energy storage initiative gets green light

A £3.5 million project to pilot new low-carbon technologies and energy-storage products has been announced by the Welsh Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford.

The project – dubbed the Smart Energy Storage Solutions Hub (SESS) scheme and led by the University of South Wales (USW) – will work with businesses to drive innovation and develop new products, technologies and processes for the commercial market.

The hub, based at the university’s Centre for Automotive and Power Systems Engineering (CAPSE), will benefit from £2.3 million of EU funding to collaborate with businesses in sectors such as low carbon, energy and environment, advanced manufacturing and ICT.

The remainder of the funding will come from the university and industrial partners involved in the project, according to the Welsh government.

Commenting on the project, Welsh Finance Secretary Drakeford said: “We are committed to driving forward cutting-edge research in the low-carbon economy and collaboration between business and universities will help us achieve this.

“Reducing our carbon footprint is a key priority of the Welsh government, helping Wales to realize its energy-efficiency potential and to become a major exporter of energy efficiency technology and know-how.”

Businesses will have access to the university’s specialist research facilities and academic expertise to help develop new products and processes, including in the automotive and energy fields, the government said.

Julie Lydon, Vice-Chancellor at USW, said: “CAPSE has an excellent reputation for expertise in the field of battery/energy storage research, on which the SESS operation will be based.

“The extensive range of knowledge available at USW will help SMEs involved in SESS to capitalise on our existing academic and research strengths and the resulting innovation will maximise the contribution of Welsh businesses to future economic growth.”