UK’s first large cryogenic energy storage plant to be built

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HIGHVIEW Power plans to build the first large-scale commercial cryogenic energy storage plant in order to become the largest battery storage system in Europe.

To be built in the North of England, the 50 MW/250 MWh project was announced by Javier Cavada, Highview Power’s CEO, at the BloombergNEF (BNEF) summit in London.

“We are excited to begin working on our first commercial UK project at scale to become the largest battery storage system in Europe and support the National Grid. This CRYOBattery™ plant will provide the critical services needed to help maintain a stable and reliable grid”, Mr Cavada said.

“Long-duration, giga-scale energy storage is the necessary foundation to enable baseload renewable energy and will be key to a 100% carbon free future.”

CRYOBattery™’s technology uses cryogenic energy, known as ‘liquid air’, as the storage medium and it can deliver anywhere from 20 MW/80 MWh to more than 200 MW/1.2 GWh of energy and has a lifespan of 30 to 40 years.

It uses only benign materials with zero emissions and has zero water impact.

Developed using proven components from mature industries, it delivers pumped-hydro capabilities without geographical constraints and can be configured to convert waste heat and cold to power.

Along with the new facility Highview Power is developing a portfolio of projects in the UK and is in the process of securing sites. These projects will ‘further the UK’s strong move towards its clean energy goals and help it meet the expected global demand for energy storage.’

In addition to supplying energy storage, Highview Power’s facility will also provide services to the National Grid to help integrate renewables, stabilise the electrical grid, and ensure future energy security.

Other services the facility could deliver include market arbitrage, frequency management, reserve, and grid constraint management services. Highview Power is currently in discussions with potential offtakers to contract for the capabilities and services the facility can provide.

Energy storage installations around the world will multiply exponentially, reaching 1,095GW/2,850GWh by 2040. Over the next two decades, $662 billion of investment will be needed for stationary energy storage, according to BNEF.

The new facility is the first large-scale commercial system utilising CRYOBattery™ technology, pioneered at Highview Power’s pilot plant in Slough and evolved at the demonstration plant in Pilsworth, Greater Manchester, which has been successfully operating since early 2018.

Highview Power’s CRYOBattery™ is said to be the ‘only freely locatable energy storage solution on the market today that delivers clean, reliable, and cost-efficient long-duration energy storage with grid synchronous inertia.’

It can store energy for weeks and at approximately £110/MWh for a 10-hour, 200 MW/2 GWh system.