Chile’s first ever liquid air long duration energy storage project is being developed in the Atacama Region.

The project was initiated by Highview Enlasa, a 50/50 joint venture between Highview Power, a global leader in long duration energy storage solutions, and Energia Latina S.A. -Enlasa, the largest backup power generation provider in Chile.

The partnership will see development and installation of a 50MW/500MWh (10 hours) CRYOBattery, representing an estimated investment of $150m.

With the possibility of benefitting from 24/7, 100% renewable energy, the Atacama Region has the potential for generating the entire country’s electricity.

This can realistically be achieved by fully harnessing the region’s reputation as having the highest long term solar irradiance of any place on Earth and combining this with cryogenic energy storage.

The process of air liquefaction itself involves ambient air being cooled to -196°C before turning to liquid.

Stored at low pressure, the liquid air is later heated and expanded to drive a turbine and generate power.

Speaking about the energy venture, Javier Cavada, CEO and President of Highview Power, said, “This is a big step forward to enabling decarbonisation goals for the country of Chile.”

“Our liquid air energy storage technology is the optimal solution for the large scale, long duration energy storage that is needed to balance the grid, without the geographic constraints associated with other energy storage technologies.”

Highview Power’s long duration energy system, or CRYOBattery technology, is equivalent in performance to thermal and nuclear power when paired with renewable energy sources, such as solar.

Fernando del Sol, president of Highview Enlasa, said of their company’s objectives, “The objective of our company is to make this innovative technology available to the market and to all actors in the electrical and mining sectors.”

“These plants can replace traditional coal plants, which will help us contribute to accelerating the decarbonisation process in Chile and to combat climate change.”

Being entirely scalable and with a small carbon footprint, the lack of geographic constraints upon the CRYOBattery technology allow for the deployment of huge amounts of renewables.