Construction works on a 50MW cryogenic liquid-air energy (LAES) plant in Manchester, UK are underway.

Expected to be completed in 2023, the CRYOBattery facility will be one of the Europe’s largest energy storage systems.

Energy storage provider Highview Power and power station developer Carlton Power are behind the plans, which were first announced in June (2020).

“Our facility will deliver much needed clean, reliable and cost-efficient long duration energy storage to the National Grid,” said Javier Cavada, Highview Power CEO and President.

“The CRYOBattery will help the UK to integrate renewable energy and stabilise the regional electrical grid to ensure future energy security during blackouts and other disruptions.”

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Source: Highview Power

The project was awarded a £10m grant from the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to build the facility at Trafford Energy Park, in Carrington Village, around eight miles outside of Manchester.

A visitor centre will be located adjacent to the plant and is expected to open in the first quarter of 2021.

It will provide an immersive experience allowing visitors not only to see the progress of the site being built, but also to have the opportunity to take virtual tours.

Technology

Highview Power’s proprietary cryogenic energy storage technology utilises air liquefaction, in which ambient air is cooled and turned to liquid at -196°C (-320˚F).

The liquid air is stored at low pressure and later heated and expanded to drive a turbine and generate power.

Highview Power says it is the only long duration energy storage solution available today that is locatable and can offer multiple gigawatt-hours (weeks) of storage.

The CRYOBattery has a small footprint and is scalable with no size limitations or geographic constraints, allowing for the deployment of massive amounts of renewables, Highview Power said.