Highview Power Storage, an award-winning UK developer of utility scale liquid air energy storage technologies, has had two multi-MW projects successfully put through to the feasibility stage of DECC’s Energy Storage Technology Demonstration Competition.

The news comes in the same week that a major new report from business and academic experts highlighted the ‘critical role’ that liquid air could play in Britain’s low carbon energy future.

The report was officially launched earlier this week at the Liquid Air Energy Conference in London, UK.

As announced by DECC, a total of 12 projects have been selected under the first phase of the Energy Storage Technology Demonstration Competition launched in October last year to carry out feasibility studies. Two of these projects involve Highview Power Storage and liquid air energy.

Project one involves the National Grid, Costain and Highview, for a proposed utility-scale demonstration project of a fully integrated liquid air energy storage plant of up to 6MW output, hosted by National Grid’s Grain Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) site at the Isle of Grain in Kent.

The plant would have around five hours of operation (30MWhs), making it the largest demonstration of new energy storage technology in the UK.

If successful, Costain, one of the UK’s largest engineering companies, will lead the construction phase for the Isle of Grain project. Ian Graves, Power Sector Director for Costain, commented, “We are delighted to be involved in this project. Highview’s is one of the few storage technologies that can be scaled to the size required to make an impact. It also takes advantage of the National Grid’s and Costain’s depth of engineering expertise in cryogenics.”

Project two is a collaboration between Viridor and Highview, which would see the former, one of the UK’s leading recycling and waste management companies, host a ‘CryoGenset’ (of up to 5MW and around 20MWh) alongside a landfill gas generation plant in Canterbury.

This proprietary zero emission alternative to a diesel genset (known as a CryoGenset) sees the liquefaction and power recovery at separate locations – with truck delivery from an industrial gas liquefaction plant to the storage tank/power recovery unit). The CryoGenset can be thought of as similar in operation to a diesel generator, but with zero emissions.

Highview has already demonstrated both systems with a 350kW/2.5MWh pilot plant hosted at SSE’s (Scottish and Southern Energy) 80MW Biomass plant on the Slough trading estate.

Gareth Brett, CEO of Highview Power Storage, said of the projects, “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. The two projects demonstrate the flexibility and range of the technology which is equally suitable for daily cycling energy storage or providing reserve services and back-up but with zero emissions.”