Government funding will help support construction of 50MW facility in Trafford, Greater Manchester
Highview Power and Carlton Power have been awarded £10m in government funding to support the construction of what is expected to be "the world's largest" liquid air energy storage facility in Greater Manchester, which is slated to begin operations in 2022.
The 50MW cryogenic energy storage facility in Trafford - dubbed the CryoBattery - is a joint venture between the two UK firms aimed at managing the country's growing levels of variable generation from wind and solar power, according to Highview Power.
First announced last October, the facility is designed to offer a minimum of 250MWh of grid support capable of providing power for up to 200,000 homes for five hours a day.
The energy storage system uses excess grid electricity to cool and compress air that is then turned into liquid and stored in industrial containers. The process is then reversed to generate electricity back to the grid when it is needed, explained Highview Power, which has operated a similar, smaller-scale 5MW liquid air energy storage (LAES) plant in Bury since 2018. The company claims the technology offers a means of storing excess energy on a larger scale and for longer periods than existing battery projects.
The project was the only recipient of funding from the government's Storage at Scale Competition, which is funded through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's (BEIS) Energy Innovation Programme.
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said the "revolutionary" project would form "a key part of our push towards net zero", delivering greater grid flexibility and creating up to 200 jobs.
"Projects like these will help us realise the full value of our world-class renewables, ensuring homes and businesses can still be powered by green energy, even when the sun is not shining and the wind not blowing," he said.
Earlier this year, Highview Power also secured £35m investment boost from Japanese manufacturing giant Sumitomo Heavy Industries to support the rollout of the technology.
Together, Highview Power and Carlton Power plan to co-develop up to four additional CryoBattery projects in the UK, totalling over 1GWh of grid support capacity.
Javier Cavada, Highview Power CEO, welcomed the £10m government investment. "This new cryogenic energy storage plant will deliver much needed long-duration energy storage and provide valuable services to the National Grid," he said. "We are on a fast-track to develop our cryogenic energy storage systems around the globe, and this partnership will help accelerate momentum in the European markets."
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