Highview Power Storage, in collaboration with Viridor, has been awarded funding for a 5MW/15MWh energy storage demonstration project by the UK Government.

The funding, valued at more than £8 million, has been awarded as part of the ‘Energy Storage Technology Demonstration Competition’, run by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). It will support the design and testing of a pre-commercial demonstration LAES system alongside one of Viridor’s landfill gas generation plants in the UK.

The LAES system will be connected to the national grid and demonstrate the technology providing balancing services to the electricity system. In addition to providing energy storage, the LAES plant will convert waste heat to power using heat from the on-site landfill gas engines. The project is scheduled to be operational by mid 2015.

As Highview’s CEO, Gareth Brett, explains, “This is a great opportunity to showcase a British innovation that has the potential to make a major contribution in terms of helping balance electricity systems in the future.  With our pilot plant tested and fully operational on the UK’s national grid, this new project will provide Highview with the opportunity to demonstrate the technology at commercial scale.”

The Highview pilot plant (350kW/2.5MWh) is hosted by SSE (Scottish & Southern Energy) at its Slough Heat & Power 80MW biomass plant. The technology can be scaled to deliver large-scale, long duration energy storage from around 5MW output and 15MWh of storage capacity to significantly more than 50MW output and 200MWh of capacity. It can be considered as being similar to medium scale pumped hydro, but without the requirement for mountains and reservoirs. In addition to storage, the technology can simultaneously convert waste heat to power.