Scotland could become the first region to store green hydrogen in purpose-built underground shafts.
The project follows a partnership between Gravitricity and Arup to deliver the feasibility study and the design after being granted a £300,000 pot of funding by the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The Edinburgh-based energy storage firm and the environment consultancy will also work on finding a potential site that could accommodate the underground hydrogen store.
The partners said the design will also involve gravity energy storage and interseasonal heat.
Gravitricity has developed a system that harnesses the power of gravity – using excess electricity to raise large weights in a shaft that can be released, converting the lifting devices into generators.
Energy Minister Greg Hands said: “The UK is truly leading the world in hydrogen innovation thanks to the exciting efforts of companies like Gravitricity.
“The government support which they have received today will help to boost the development of hydrogen as the clean, affordable, homegrown superfuel of the future.”
Gravitricity’s Hydrogen and Thermal Storage Lead Sally Molyneux said: “Storing hydrogen in underground shafts is intrinsically safer and less obtrusive than above-ground options and is a solution that does not require unique geology such as salt caverns.”
Last summer, the company commissioned and operated a grid-connected 250kW demonstrator in Leith, Edinburgh.