Britain's Innogy pulls out of electricity storage project

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British energy company RWE Innogy has pulled out of its Regenesys electricity storage project after its German parent company decided not to commit any further funding. German RWE is tight lipped about the reasons for abandoning the project, apart from saying that it wants to concentrate on its core businesses of electricity generation, electricity and gas supply and renewables. Regenesys had been heralded by Innogy as a breakthrough project that would aid the integration of wind power into electricity systems through a revolutionary new technology (Windpower Monthly, October 2000). Problems at the company's first Regenesys plant, at Little Barford in Cambridgeshire, caused the project to overrun its construction timetable well beyond its completion date of 2002. Regenesys uses huge banks of batteries to store electricity. A company spokesman said: "Whilst ongoing testing has proven the technology, we will not be committing the additional resources and capital expenditure required to take the project to market." It has also abandoned its second Regenesys plant at Columbus, Mississippi. RWE Innogy will retain the intellectual property rights to the technology.

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