UK-based business, Highview Power Storage, has been awarded more than £1m worth of funding for a new hybrid configuration of its existing Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) system – and it will be operational by summer 2018.

The hybrid LAES system will demonstrate LAES’s ability to respond to grid frequency events within one second and meet the requirements of National Grid’s new Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) service.

Awarded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, the £1.5m worth of funding will enable the corporation to use supercapacitors and flywheel technology to create the hybrid LAES system that will respond to EFR and also Firm Frequency Response (FFR) timescales that help keep the UK grid balanced within the +/-1% of nominal 50Hz system frequency.

The funding was awarded for ‘Frequency Response from a Liquid Air Energy Storage facility’ as part of the ‘First of a Kind Deployment of Innovation’ competition.

Gareth Brett, CEO of Highview, said, “A hybrid LAES system provides the powerful combination of instant start and long duration storage and is an important step for Highview as it broadens the range of services which LAES can supply and will help enhance the economic case for its adoption.”

Highview power storage laes storage technology cropped

Source: Highview Power Storage

The LAES process is a large-scale energy storage solution that uses liquid nitrogen (N2) or liquid air as a storage medium. LAES technology can be integrated with 20-200MW plants and can be located directly at the point it is needed, offering a competitive energy storage solution.

The technology can also integrate low-grade, industrial waste heat and waste cold to increase the round trip of efficiency of the system by co-lating with industrial plants and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. Additionally, and if integrated with renewables, the LAES technology can be zero emission.

The hybrid LAES system will be added to Highview’s 5MW/15MWh Pre-Commerical Demonstration plant at project partner Viridor’s Pilsworth landfill gas plant in Bury, Greater Manchester, UK. The project was awarded funding of more than £8m from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in 2014 and is currently in commissioning, due online at the end of the year.

Whilst the hybrid LAES system will be designed to comply with the UK electricity market it can be transported to other markets ensuring all LAES systems can be deployed globally. The aim of the project is to test performance and economics and it will be operational by summer 2018.

“A hybrid LAES system provides the powerful combination of instant start and long duration storage and is an important step for Highview as it broadens the range of services which LAES can supply and will help enhance the economic case for its adoption”

Gareth Brett, CEO of Highview