Highview Power has commissioned what it claims to be the world’s first grid-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) plant in the England.


Image: The liquid air energy storage plant in the England. Photo: courtesy of Highview Power.

Located at Bury, near Manchester, 5MW/15MWh LAES plant has been developed by Highview Power in partnership with waste management and renewable energy company Viridor.

UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) chief scientific advisor John Loughhead said: “We welcome the accomplishment of Highview Power, working together with their project site partner Viridor, to successfully build and operate this grid-scale liquid air energy storage technology demonstration plant.

“The deployment of smart, flexible technologies, such as energy storage, will help to ensure the UK has a secure, affordable and clean energy system now and in the future in keeping with the priorities within UK Government’s Modern Industrial Strategy.

“We’re pleased to have been able to support the Pilsworth demonstrator through our Energy Innovation Programme aimed at accelerating the commercialization of innovative clean energy technologies and processes.”

Demand response aggregator KiWi Power will have access to draw energy from the LAES plant to power about 5,000 average-sized homes for about around three hours, once the LAES is launched.

Highview said that the plant will demonstrate the LAES’ ability to provide a number of reserve, grid balancing and regulation services.

The LAES plants are capable of storing enough clean electricity generated by a local wind farm to power a town of around 100,000 homes, for many days, the firm said.

Viridor energy managing director Richard Pennells said: “The innovative technology which has been developed through the Highview project could play an important role in supporting UK growth in low carbon, renewable energy sources and in maintaining the security of the United Kingdom’s electricity supply.”

The plant, which mostly comprises of steel, has a lifespan of between 30 to 40 years. Once decommissioned, the plant’s steel can be recycled.

KiWi Power CEO Yoav Zingher said: “Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) technology is a great step forward in the creation of a truly de-centralised energy system in the UK allowing end-users to balance the national electricity network at times of peak demand.”