Cryogenic energy storage pioneer Highview Power, a past winner in The Engineer Innovation Award, has announced plans to build its first full-scale plant – which will also be the largest energy storage plant in Europe – at a decommissioned thermal power station site in the North of England. Known as a Cryobattery, the site will have a capacity of 50 MW/250 MWh, Highview says.
Announced at the BloombergNEF summit in London yesterday by Highview CEO Javier Cavarda, the plant will use technology demonstrated at a pilot plant in Slough and developed further at a demonstration plant in Manchester. Highview’s technology uses excess energy, such as that generated by renewable sources, which cannot be sent immediately to the grid to liquefy air and store the liquid until the electricity is needed and can be distributed. At this point, the liquid air is allowed to evaporate and expand through a turbine, where its latent energy of vaporisation is converted into electric current.
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Highview notes that the technology uses only environmentally-friendly materials, has no carbon emissions and no impact on water usage or quality. It can store energy for weeks, rather than hours or days, as is the case with current battery technologies, and the company claims costs of approximately £110/MWh for a 10-hour, 200MW/2GWh system. Cryobattery technology can deliver from 20MW/80MWh to more than 200MW/1.2GWh and has a lifespan of 30 to 40 years, it further claims.
“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,” said Cavada. “Long-duration, giga-scale energy storage is the necessary foundation to enable baseload renewable energy and will be key to a 100 per cent carbon-free future.”
Highview has not yet disclosed the exact location of its site, but it is currently in procurement processes for the construction stage and is locking down agreements to purchase the stored energy from the new plant, which could be in operation by 2022.